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AZ House of Representatives poised to debate legalizing needle exchange programs

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Posted at 2:45 PM, Feb 19, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-19 16:45:52-05

The Arizona House is considering a proposal that would allow needle exchange programs for illicit drug users to be operated legally in the state for the first time.
    
Republican Rep. Tony Rivero of Peoria is pushing the legislation as part of an effort to cut opioid addiction and diseases spread from dirty needles. It is expected to be debated on the House floor this week.
    
Rivero told the House Health Committee during a hearing last Thursday that needle exchange programs are a way to draw people into treatment programs and avoid spreading diseases.
    
A deputy chief from the Kingman Police Department and a deputy Pima County prosecutor testified that the programs can get people into treatment and save lives.