Las Vegas Responds to Drug Crisis With Syringe Vending Machines
“This is a harm reduction approach”
As the nation’s opioid crisis continues to grow, some cities are taking dramatic steps to deal with its associated problems. Las Vegas has actually introduced vending machines which dispense clean syringes for free.
The Daily Caller reports:
Syringe Vending Machines Hit Las Vegas Amid Heroin Crisis
Las Vegas will get the nation’s first vending machine for drug syringes to combat spiking heroin deaths in the state and reduce the transmission of HIV.
The vending machines filled with clean needles will be available to designated individuals by the end of May. Residents who want access to the vending machines will need to be a part of Trac-B Exchange, a drug remediation group operating in Las Vegas. Participants in the Trac-B Exchange will be able to type a special access code into the machines to receive a clean syringe, reports Health Central.
In addition to the clean needles, the vending machines will dispense alcoholic wipes and “safe-sex supplies,” all packaged in a box.
“This is a harm reduction approach,” Chelsi Cheatom, program manager for Trac-B Exchange, told KSNV. “People are already exchanging in these behaviors, and anytime someone’s engaging in a behavior that could cause them some potential health side effects, we want to encourage them to reduce their risk of harm.”
This video from FOX News provides an overview of the program:
California is taking a much more progressive approach to the crisis. What can’t be solved with more taxes?
Health Leaders Media reports:
Can We Tax Away The Opioid Crisis?
California lawmakers this month will consider legislation that would impose a tax on prescription opioids such as OxyContin and Norco to raise money for addiction treatment and prevention programs.
The proposal, introduced by California Assemblyman Kevin McCarty (D-Sacramento), would not levy the tax directly on consumers but rather on opioid manufacturers and wholesalers, who would pay 1 cent per milligram at the drug’s first point of sale.
Legislative analysts have not yet conducted a fiscal review of the measure, which would require a two-thirds majority vote to pass.
A similar federal opioid tax measure is being considered by Congress. It, too, is intended to create a fund to treat and prevent addiction. In addition, the Alaska State Legislature is considering a 1-cent-per-milligram opioid tax.
The Trump administration would be wise to start offering possible solutions for this crisis sooner than later.
Featured image via YouTube.
Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.
Won’t be long now… Next step: ‘safe spaces’ for using. Following step? Government-provided heroin. Purer and safer than street drugs. All for a nominal fee from the taxpayer.
After the amazing success of California’s treatment of the drug crisis, Detroit announced that in order to treat the arson epidemic sweeping through the town, they will be offering vending machines stocked with gasoline and matches….
The proposal, introduced by California Assemblyman Kevin McCarty (D-Sacramento), would not levy the tax directly on consumers but rather on opioid manufacturers and wholesalers….
Because of course the manufacturers, distributors, and wholesalers won’t pass the extra cost on to consumers! Anyone who says otherwise is obviously a crazy TEA Party conspiracy nut! [/sarcasm]
Affirmative Action for dangerous behavior will not end well.
The proposed California narco-tax is a step in the right direction, and is the only modern tax with which I agree. But the concept is fatally (ahem) flawed because opioids would be taxed by the milligram. 30 milligrams of morphine or oxycodone might be enough to get one or two abusers high. But 30 milligrams of fentanyl would be enough to get an entire county of abusers high. Perhaps even a small state.
The correct way to curtail prescription opioid diversion and abuse would be to (sorry to say) tax the doctors. Since few medical practices would pass this cost on to its patients, most doctors would simply discontinue prescribing opioids. This would choke off the stream of physician-prescribed opioids in less time than a calendar quarter.
Of course the law would have to include waivers for several conditions including post-surgical pain and cancer pain. The diagnosis code (“ICD-10”) would have to be written on the prescription or else a pharmacy shall not dispense.
A $30-per-prescription narco-tax combined with a 30 foot high southern border wall would put a serious dent in America’s opioid epidemic. Abusers would finally begin seeking treatment. Invest in proprietary detox centers.
Dave B, MD
Pain Medicine specialist
They just don’t get it. It’s not Hepatitis C or AIDS or even unsafe sex that is killing people by the thousands. It’s heroin and using it will kill you thousands of times faster than Hep C. More of the same from the loonies running the nut house that is America.
What has Trump done on this? I thought that he was actually pretty outspoken on the topic of drug addiction.
“Because of course the manufacturers, distributors, and wholesalers won’t pass the extra cost on to consumers!”
BUT, it’s seldom consumers who pay. I’d guess that much of the bill for legal opiates is paid by Medicaid, and thus will be paid for by state and federal taxpayers.
And for consumers who do pay a significant part of the cost, well, although those who are getting their oxy for pain relief will pay more, those who are reselling should still be able to make a profit, while those who are using them to get high may consider selling them instead, and using cheaper (but riskier) street heroin instead.
Yes, unintended consequences abound.
There is a problem with tenses in this story: “Las Vegas has actually introduced vending machines which dispense clean syringes for free.” HAS ACTUALLY INTRODUCED.
“The vending machines filled with clean needles will be available to designated individuals by the end of May.” WILL BE AVAILABLE.
So it appears that these vending machines are NOT YET in place or in operation. Why the lie?