Implementation of a Syringe Services Program and Law Enforcement Barriers
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Ample research has shown the positive benefits of syringe services programs in reducing the transmission of infectious disease, improving treatment outcomes for those with substance use disorder, and saving money in the community. Marion County, Indiana introduced its first syringe services program in April 2019 to address rising rates of Hepatitis C in the community. Despite the implementation of the syringe services program, syringe possession is a felony in Indiana, placing the program at the intersection of public health and criminal legal system.
Researchers from Wayne State University’s Center for Behavioral Health and Justice have conducted quantitative and qualitative data collection to learn more about the impact of a felony possession law on the success of the syringe services program and the wellbeing of the community as a whole, with results highlighting the need to decriminalize syringe possession in Indiana.
- Madison Weintraut, B.S.N., M.P.H., R.N., Program Manager - Safe Syringe Access and Support Program, Marion County Health Departmen
- Corey Davis, J.D., M.P.H., Deputy Director, The Network for Public Health Law
- Brad Ray, Ph.D., Director - Center for Behavioral Health and Justice, Associate Professor - School of Social Work
- Emily Sightes, M.P.H., Project Coordinator - Center for Behavioral Health and Justice