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The Needle Exchange Program: Aims and Drawbacks

The needle exchange program’s main objective is to reduce the number of bloodborne disease cases by preventing the reuse of needles. According to evidence by Fernandes et al. (2017) and Elkins (2017), needle exchange programs are effective for reducing the number of bloodborne diseases. Mainly, Fernandes et al. (2017) found that these programs help reduce the number of HIV cases and moderate efficiency for reducing HCV contraction. Considering the healthcare crises that the United States is experiencing, it is helpful for the state and federal governments to establish more facilities where needle exchange programs will occur. However, other measures targeting helping addicts overcome their condition and return to normal life should be financed as well (Elkins, 2017). This is because needle exchange programs are not designed to target drug addiction, they are addressing just one aspect of the issue.

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One argument against needle exchange programs is that they encourage the use of the drug. For example, a person may avoid using drugs out of fear that they will contract a disease after using a needle that someone else has used before. However, addiction is a complex condition with both psychological and biological antecedents, meaning that addicts do not use rational thinking, they are guided by their addiction. As mentioned, other programs that help people who have an addiction to drugs should be implemented to address this issue. However, at a current stage, needle exchange helps stop the spread of HIV or another bloodborne conditions (“Needle and syringe programs,” n.d.). Alternatives to needle exchange include full harm reduction programs. Fernandes et al. (2017) state that this is a combination of neighborhood watch programs and methadone-based treatment. Overall, there are better alternatives to needle exchange programs that target the issue of addiction and not merely the reuse of syringes.

References

Elkins, K. (2018). Benefits and risks of needle exchange programs. Drug Rehab. Web.

Fernandes, R. M., Cary, M., Duarte, G., Jesus, G., Alarcão, J., Torre, C., Costa, S., Costa, J., & Carneiro, A. V. (2017). Effectiveness of needle and syringe programmes in people who inject drugs – An overview of systematic reviews. BMC public health, 17(1), 309. Web.

Needle and syringe programmes (NSPs) for HIV prevention. (n.d.). 2020, Web.

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StudyCorgi. "The Needle Exchange Program: Aims and Drawbacks." March 21, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/the-needle-exchange-program-aims-and-drawbacks/.

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StudyCorgi. 2022. "The Needle Exchange Program: Aims and Drawbacks." March 21, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/the-needle-exchange-program-aims-and-drawbacks/.

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StudyCorgi. (2022) 'The Needle Exchange Program: Aims and Drawbacks'. 21 March.

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