United Way of Broward County Commission on Substance Abuse (UWBCCSA) needs your help to educate legislators and the community about the potential benefits of  a Syringe Exchange Pilot Program to help create a safer and healthier community for all of us. UWBCCSA is a broad-based substance use/abuse coalition dedicated to empowering its diverse community to live healthy and drug-free. If given the green light, a Syringe Exchange Program (SEP) would provide free sterile syringes and collect used syringes from injection-drug users (IDUs) to help reduce the transmission of infectious diseases and blood-borne pathogens such as HIV and hepatitis C in our communities – something that would improve public safety as a whole. In fact, there are many misconceptions, myths and misinformation about Syringe Exchange Programs (SEPS), so it is important that lawmakers and the public better understand the effectiveness and positive impact that they can have on our community.

 

You can get involved by contacting the House Representatives of the Judiciary Subcommittee and educate them on the benefits of syringe exchange programs.  Please utilize the resources below to send an email to the list of the legislators on the Judiciary Subcommittee.


List of Representatives on the Judiciary Subcommittee

 

Additional Resources to send and share:

Syringe Exchange Programs: Myth vs. Fact

Policy Brief

Heroin Epidemic Brief


Sample Email

 

All house email addresses are the same (firstname.lastname@myfloridahouse.gov)

 

Representative (Or Chairman, or Vice Chairman) name,

 

In your deliberations regarding a potential syringe exchange pilot program, I would like to provide some data regarding the effectiveness of these programs in reducing the spread of infectious disease, and protecting the public and first responders from exposure to dirty needles.

The State of Florida is facing a public health crisis with the rise of new HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis C infections. One of the most significant contributing factors is the heroine epidemic impacting especially young adults in both rural and urban areas of our State. The primary way heroine is used is by intravenous drug injections, and dirty syringes are causing the spread of these infectious diseases at an alarming rate.

Over 20 years of data from the Center for Disease Control and the National Institute of Health, shows that communities who have instituted these exchange programs reduce the spread of infectious diseases, but more importantly provide a gateway for treatment and care for those experience drug addiction. Syringe Exchange Programs keep dirty needles off the streets, protecting first responders and the public. The programs significantly save public resources, as it is far cheaper to provide clean syringes and opportunities for treatment, than the long term costs for treatment of HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis C.

Thank you for your thoughtful consideration in this matter.

 

Respectfully,