Idaho House committee approves needle exchange program

Posted at 9:43 AM, Feb 28, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-28 11:43:10-05

BOISE — Legislation intended to lower the risk of people being inadvertently jabbed with discarded used medical needles is heading to the House.

The House Health and Welfare Committee voted 12-1 on Thursday to approve legislation allowing groups to start a syringe and needle exchange program in Idaho.

Backers say such programs could reduce the risk of people coming in contact with discarded needles in alleys or streets left by illegal drug users, and also reduce the chance of illegal drug users acquiring diseases with dirty needles.

Backers also say such programs could reduce the chance of trash collectors being jabbed with used needles used by legal drug takers.

Republican Rep. John Vander Woude of Nampa voted against the bill.

(by Associated Press)