Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Houston Chronicle and Associated Press focus the public on syringe access bill

The Houston Chronicle published an Associated Press description of the syringe access issue and the Texas bill, "Senate panel OKs shield for needle exchange." Constable Jimmy Willburn, pictured here, traveled to Austin to testify in favor of saving the lives of our public servants. Here is an excerpt:

In written and vocal support on Tuesday, law enforcement and health practitioners said the proposed legislation would prevent the spread of disease among drug users and prevent spread to the families of drug users, children who find dirty needles and others who are stuck by dirty needles.

Also, retired Bexar County Constable Jimmy Wilborn told the committee on Tuesday that the legislation would lower the chances of police officers contracting disease from contaminated syringes.

“My partners were stuck with needles when we were executing search warrants. As a constable in Precinct 2, two of my people were stuck with needles,” he said. “The fact of the matter is, if these people are distributing these needles, it’s going to be better for the police officers because of one reason — because they are going to be exchanging these things.”

The Texas Department of State Health Services has predicted that 100 new cases of HIV could be prevented in the first year of implementing a needle-exchange program.

Texas is the only state that doesn’t allow syringe exchange programs of any kind.

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