Las Vegas to offer clean needles through vending machines

Las Vegas to offer clean needles through vending machines

Struggling to fight back soaring heroin and HIV rates, Las Vegas health authorities are betting on a new approach -- offering clean needles in vending machines.

Las Vegas has become the first city in the U.S. to provide addicts with free clean needles through vending machines; and officials believe that the new effort will help reduce transmission of potentially deadly diseases like HIV and hepatitis C.

The effort has been made by the Las Vegas Hard Reduction Center’s Trac-B Exchange program, which is known for making harm-reduction approaches.

Announcing the effort, Trac-B Exchange program manager Chelsi Cheatom said, “Anytime someone’s engaging in a behavior that could cause them some potential health side effects, we want to encourage them to reduce their risk.”

However, the free-to-use syringe vending machines are not accessible to anyone walking by. They are only open to clients of Trac-B Exchange.

As per a report by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), 1 in every 10 AIDS diagnoses in 2015 was attributed to intravenous use of drugs. Use of heroin among 18-25 years old individuals has doubled over the past decade.