Spokane needle exchange program forced to cut back

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by KREM.com & Honora Swanson

KREM.com

Posted on September 22, 2011 at 5:24 PM

Updated Thursday, Sep 22 at 6:42 PM

SPOKANE-- Thousands rely on the Spokane Regional Health District's needle exchange program. Funding cuts in public health are forcing the program to scale back the amount of product they hand out, despite their demand going up.

The program offers sterile needles to those addicted to drugs. Clients say the exchange keeps disease from spreading. The cut back will make getting a clean needle harder for those who use them.

Even though the people who use this program are primarily drug users, some say they don't mind spending tax dollars on it.

The health district doesn't feel this program encourages use.

The health district expects to receive 2011's fiscal budget by the end of the month. It expects an additional 30% cut to the program that funds the needle exchange.
 

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