Friday, January 07, 2011

House Bill 117 leads into 82nd legislative session

At least one syringe exchange bill has been pre-filed leading up to the 82nd Texas legislative session. House Bill 117, filed by Representative Ruth Jones McClendon, would provide local authorities (in Texas counties with a population over 300,000) the option of authorizing disease prevention outreach programs, such as syringe exchange. This would allow community-based and faith-based organizations to provide compassionate, evidence-based outreach services that reduce blood borne disease transmission among individuals, and their loved ones, struggling with drug addiction here in Texas. In addition to reducing disease, syringe exchange programs make communities safer through proper disposal of used syringes, reducing rates of drug use, reducing the number of needle stick injuries to first responders and law enforcement, providing referrals to drug treatment, and increasing the likelihood of successful treatment outcomes. See full text of bill here.

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