Numerous studies indicate that SEPs do not increase drug use or crime, but do increase the use of substance abuse treatment services.It's funny how sometimes things that seem obvious turn out to be false. It seems obvious to many that exchanging a clean syringe for a dirty one from a drug addict would encourage drug use ... but it turns out the opposite is true.
Syringe exchange programs often become an injection drug user's only window into the functioning world. As they exchange their syringes, they are kindly offered a path to recovery at the same time. These studies show that many users choose to enter recovery, and many successfully recover, by accepting the invitation to treatment which they were only offered in one place time after time - their syringe exchange program.
As syringe exchange programs have increased, researchers' access to hard data has increased and it all seems to be pointing to the same conclusion. Our Texas agency now joins the National Institute of Health, the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Johns Hopkins and New York Academy of Medicine, the Chicago Recovery Alliance Outreach Program, the New Haven Connecticut Syringe Exchange Program, the Tacoma and Seattle Washington Syringe Exchange Programs, and others who have concluded that syringe exchange programs increase drug users' use of drug treatment and recovery services.
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