Sacramento Approves Needle Sales
The Sacramento City Council on Tuesday voted 6-2 to authorize pharmacies to sell up to 10 syringes without a prescription, the Sacramento Bee reports. The Sacramento County health department estimates that there are 15,000 daily intravenous drug users in the county.
The county will oversee the program and register city pharmacies that wish to participate.
Pharmacies will be required to provide people purchasing needles with written information or verbal counseling about drug treatment options, testing for disease and safe disposal of used needles. Pharmacies also will be required to provide disposal for used needles.
The program could be implemented in six to eight weeks, the Bee reports.
The county rejected a similar proposal last year. In the latest vote, two council members opposed the program citing concerns that drug users would be more likely to dispose of needles on the street or other public places.
Council member Sandy Sheedy, who voted against the measure, supports the creation of a needle-exchange program (Stern, Sacramento Bee, 9/6).