Clarification of our opposition to dedicated fixed site needle exchange provision in London’s West End

Backdated from previous BA website

We are NOT against supplying drug misusers with clean needles to help prevent the spread of HIV and Hepatitis B and C. However, this must be part of a ‘mixed-economy’ of preventative measures and of a holistic and workable drug treatment programme.

A dedicated fixed site needle exchange will entrench any illegal drugs market around that location. If it is policed the addicts will not visit.  If it is not policed it will encourage drug dealers to use the surrounding streets as an open-air supermarket.  It will stimulate the market.

It is for this reason that we support the mixed-economy philosophy of dispersal of needle exchange facilities/outlets to reduce the impact of the inevitable street based dealing, acquisitive crime and anti social behaviour. By dispersal, we mean offering needle exchange via any premises used by injecting drug users such as hostels, pharmacies, GP’s, Primary Care Trust establishments, health centres or any other premises that offers health care to intravenous drug users.

We DO NOT support the concept of a ‘dedicated fixed site needle exchange’ in ANY location.

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