New proposal would allow needle exchanges in Arizona

Did you know that if you are caught distributing syringes or needles in parts of Arizona, you can be charged with a felony?

A new bill could change that, but it needs to make its way through the state legislature.

Under the new bill, those using drugs would be allowed to get a new needle, and dispose of their old one, through a needle exchange program.

Haley Coles, Executive Director of Sonoran Prevention Works said distributing new needles slows the spread of diseases such as HIV and Hepatitis C. She also said it would be a chance to engage with drug users, and give them an opportunity to learn about treatment plans, if they ask.

In a previous interview, however, Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery voiced concerns about needle exchanges, saying he does not support it.