“Everyone deserves a chance at a clean and healthy life—even if everyone is not quite ready for treatment. Besides, it’s better not to be infected with a fatal disease before you even get to rehab”—at least this is the philosophy of the Santa Cruz Access Program, which has been trying to help those still struggle with a drug addiction at least be as healthy as possible, so they can enjoy a full life in recovery after treatment.
But the program is obviously controversial. Today, the Santa Cruz Patch released an opinion poll asking readers to express their opinion on needle exchanges that have been prevalent in the Santa Cruz community since 1989.
According to an article written earlier this year on the topic, volunteers from the Santa Cruz Syringe Access Program hand out approximately 5,000 needles a week, or 20,000 a month, in Santa Cruz and Watsonville free of cost. As well as needles, users are given portable bio-hazard containers to properly dispose of used needles.
One of the first needle exchange programs in the country, the local and governmentally funded program is a group that works to reduce the passing of HIV and Hepatitis C through shared needles. The main hope and passion of the program is to preserve lives. The twenty non-paid volunteers who work for the Santa Cruz Syringe Access Program believe that drug abusers will eventually seek treatment, and when that time comes, they should not be plagued with fatal diseases.
Much controversy has come from similar groups all over the country, and Santa Cruz is asking the public to take a minute to share how they feel.
What do you think?
Take the quick survey.