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Health News Florida

Senate Poised To Pass Needle Exchange Expansion

Heroin overdoses and deaths are on the rise in Florida.
Heroin overdoses and deaths are on the rise in Florida.

The Senate is inching closer to approving a bill that would allow hospitals, clinics, medical schools and substance-abuse treatment programs to begin offering needle-and-syringe exchange programs to reduce the spread of diseases such as HIV.

The Senate on Thursday took up a measure (SB 800), filed by Minority Leader Oscar Braynon, D-Miami Gardens, that would expand statewide a 2016 law that enabled the University of Miami to operate a needle-exchange program in Miami-Dade County.

The Senate could vote on the bill next week. Between Dec. 1, 2016 and July 31, 2017, the Miami-Dade program provided 44,497 clean, unused syringes in exchange for 50,509 used syringes. It’s similar to a House measure (HB 579), which is waiting to be heard by the Health & Human Services Committee.

Copyright 2018 Health News Florida