"One of the biggest steps towards implementing some of these evidence programs in the state of Arizona is legalizing the exchanges which technically this program is not supposed to happen but we work with the County Health Department," says Thomas.
The program has expanded as they continue to see a bigger need for it because there has been a rise in the use of injection drugs.
Thomas says, legalization of needle exchange programs will enable better access to funding and help them protect clients."People that inject drugs are highly stigmatized by society it is highly difficult for them to access services without feeling like they're going to be judged or feeling like they're going to be arrested."
Studies show syringe programs provide an education and do do not increase drug use but serve as harm reduction - reducing the spread of HIV, Hepatitis C and infections.
As well as serving as a gateway to help, "studies show that people that are injecting drugs are 5 times more likely to access treatment through a syringe access program."
This house bill has been moved for senate consideration but still has to go through the committee process.