Legislation setting up a pilot needle exchange program in Bexar County, Tx., doesn’t shield participants from state drug paraphernalia laws, warned District Attorney Susan Reed in San Antonio, says the Associated Press. Reed advised police that “if you do it you might find yourself in jail.” The Bexar County pilot program was authorized this year.
Texas is the only state that doesn’t allow syringe exchange programs, which are meant to curb the spread of diseases through intravenous drug use by giving users clean hypodermic needles. Seeking a state Attorney General’s opinion would delay the program by months, making it more difficult to judge its efficacy before the legislature’s next meeting in 2009. Supporters hope the pilot, which was authorized to start Sept. 1, leads to adoption of a statewide needle exchange law.