Debating If And How to Bring Needle Exchanges to N.H.
Designed to reduce the spread of disease by distributing clean needles to drug users, needle exchange programs can also provide outreach and referral for treatment. Now, a bill in the legislature would allow these centers in New Hampshire. And while there's general support, concerns include whether to decriminalize trace amounts of heroin.
- Laura Byrne, executive director of the HIV/HCV Resource Center, which runs a needle exchange program in White River Junction, VT.
- Rep. Joe Hannon, Republican Representative from Lee. He is a member of the Joint Task Force dealing with the heroin and opioid crisis, and he sponsored HB1681, which would legalize needle exchange programs and trace amounts of drugs in syringes.
- Chief Andrew Shagoury, Tuftonboro Police Chief and second vice president for the NH Association of Chiefs of Police.
- Rep. John Tholl, Republican from Whitefield and member of the Joint Task Force dealing with the Heroin & Opioid Crisis. He is a former state police sergeant, and opposes HB1691.
- Tim Soucy, Manchester's Public Health Director