Las Vegas to Install Clean-Needle Vending Machines for Drug Users

By KM Diaz, | April 18, 2017

These clean-needle vending machines are similar to the ones that distribute snacks. (YouTube)

These clean-needle vending machines are similar to the ones that distribute snacks. (YouTube)

Las Vegas health officials have installed clean-needle vending machines at three locations in the city for drug users.

According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, these clean-needle vending machines are similar to the ones that distribute snacks. The machines will provide kits with a tourniquet, 10 new syringes, and a container for used needles. The package will be available for drug users twice a week by the end of May.

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The Nevada AIDS Research and Education Society, South Nevada Health District, and Trac-B Exchange developed these vending machines for crystal meth, heroin, and crack users. Trac-B Exchange is a local non-profit that focuses on harm reduction, and the vending machines will be located in three different Trac-B locations.

Those who want to have access to the machine need to register to centers to have a personal card with an access code. Users will not provide additional personal information for the cards but will have two packs of needles every week.

One of the risks of sharing needles is the threat of blood-borne diseases such as HIV, and hepatitis C. Nevada has the highest rates of HIV in the United States, with approximately 20 cases per 100,000 people.

Sharing needles increases the risk of spreading blood-borne diseases. Other countries like Australia have also installed clean-needle vending machines, and researchers have not highlighted any adverse effects that they may have. Previous studies found that having access to clean needles decreases the risk of the transmission of certain diseases.

As of now, the project in Nevada is being funded by donations, and it is still unsure how long the program would last due to lack of resources and federal support.


 

 

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