William Martin, the Baker Institute's Harry and Hazel Chavanne Senior Fellow in Religion and Public Policy, examines the moral and financial benefits of needle exchange programs in a commentary for the Texas Tribune. "Access to clean needles reduces the incidence of blood-borne diseases and neither encourages people to start injecting drugs nor increases drug use by those who are already users," he writes. Texas legislators are considering a bill that would allow local health authorities or nongovernmental organizations to, among other things, exchange used syringes for new ones. "It may be one of few opportunities Texas legislators will have this year to improve public health, show compassion for the afflicted and save money in the bargain," Martin says.
- Read Martin"s March 3, 2011, post "The conservative case for needle exchange" on the Baker Institute blog.