Another good example of how well drug prohibition works ?

HIV cases on the rise in Scott Co.

http://www.whas11.com/story/news/health/2015/03/10/hiv-scott-county-opana/24712561/

The Scott County Health Department said they increase is due to IV drug users sharing needles.

Scott County’s health department says all 42 people who’ve tested positive, admitted to injecting Opana into their system and sharing needles in the process. Opana is an opioid, often prescribed to cancer patients for extreme pain.

“Until now, everybody thought they could just do that at will and there was no consequence to it. Now we see so many people with HIV that never knew they had it,” Scott County Sheriff Dan McClain said

Sheriff McClain says the pain killer, often prescribed to cancer patients, us now the drug of choice, above heroin. He says 90 percent of his inmates are in jail due to drug-related crimes.

“Methamphetamine, heroin, marijuana, all those things are a lot easier for us to fight because they’re illegal drugs to start with. A prescription pill is only illegal if you don’t have a prescription,” McClain said.

So how are so many people getting the drug?

“The doctors of our county are doing a good job banding together and saying, we’re not going to prescribe these as much anymore. Our hospital has a whole policy with pain pills and not giving them out in the ER. So, that’s the question, where they’re getting them coming from,” Combs said.

With the I-65 corridor running through the county, Combs says the pills could come from anywhere.

“The only thing we can do right now is education. We need to educate. Don’t share needles,” Combs said.

For the first time, the Scott County Health Department is now hosting free HIV and STD screenings on Mondays and Thursday between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. in Scottsburg. The tests are confidential and takes just minutes. Staff are also working to provide a screening office in Austin, where a majority of people infected with HIV live.

Combs says while HIV is on the rise, the number of people testing positive for Hepatitis C is “astronomical.” In many cases today, it’s possible those with HIV also have Hep. C and should learn how the diseases spread and how to prevent from giving them to others.

2 Responses

  1. Hope I never have to use an ER in that county, It wouldn’t be pretty if they tried giving me plain acetaminophen for a mid size kidney stone. Anyway, Ive always been a supporter of needle exchange programs. Look, addicts are only going to accept treatment WHEN THEY ARE READY, nothing anyone does is going to make them take it. So with that said, as long as they are going to use, I feel like I would rather stop the spread of contagious and dangerous diseases from sharing needles by exchanging or selling them clean needles. So since WE DON’T HAVE NEEDLE EXCHAGE PROGRAMS HERE, My policy is usually don’t ask, don’t tell on sales. Worked for President Clinton for other things under his administration.

  2. Wikipedia: WHO’s findings have also been supported by the American Medical Association (AMA), which in 2000 adopted a position strongly supporting NSPs [free needle and syringe program] when combined with addiction counseling.

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