Newsbrief: Pittsburgh Gives Preliminary Okay to Continuing Needle Exchange Program 9/10/04

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A Pittsburgh needle exchange program (NEP) that operated underground for seven years before the county health board declared a health emergency in 2002, allowing it to operate above-ground as a pilot project, has won preliminary approval to continue providing syringes to injection drug users, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported. In a September 1 meeting, the Allegheny County (Pittsburgh) Board of Health agreed to draft regulations under which the NEP would operate on a permanent basis.

The move came after three public hearings on the issue last month. According to Tim Curges, the health department's acting chief for the county's sexually transmitted disease program, 64 of 67 public comments were positive.

The NEP, operated by Prevention Point Pittsburgh (http://www.pppgh.org), has an annual budget of $180,000 and provides clean needles, HIV and Hepatitis C testing, case management, and treatment referrals to some 2000 clients. About 200 participate in any given week, Prevention Point Pittsburgh executive director Renee Cox told the Post-Gazette.

It is not quite a done deal. The regulations, which have yet to be drafted, will have to go through another public comment period and then win approval from the County Council and Chief Executive Officer Dan Onorato. Cox said she is "optimistic" it will be approved.

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Issue #353, 9/10/04 They're Back! Two DEA Raids on California Medical Marijuana Operations in Two Weeks | Push for Medical Marijuana Legislation Underway in New Jersey | CRCM Makes Final Court Bid to Get Marijuana Regulation Initiative on Nevada Ballot | DRCNet Book Review: "My Cocaine Museum," by Michael Taussig (2004, University of Chicago Press, 360 pp., $22.50 HB) | Action Alert: Judiciary Committee Taking Up HEA Drug Provision | Newsbrief: Pittsburgh Gives Preliminary Okay to Continuing Needle Exchange Program | Newsbrief: German Drug Deaths Down, Government Cites Harm Reduction Policies | Newsbrief: Initiative Fails to Make Ballot in Arkansas, Another Gets Kicked Off Ballot in Tallahassee | Newsbrief: MPP Sues Minneapolis over Medical Marijuana Ballot Access | Newsbrief: Denver Post Says Legalize It | Newsbrief: Canada's National Post Says Legalize It | Newsbrief: US and Philippines in Joint "Narcoterrorism" Exercises | This Week in History | The Reformer's Calendar
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