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