The use of needles in medications is inevitable, however, it needs to be handled safely to prevent the spread of diseases. Used needles or contaminated ones are important to prevent their spread or being reused. A very common disease that spreads from the reuse of contaminated needles is hep-C which has increased lately. In only 5 years, cases of hep-C have shown an increase of almost 98%.
A study conducted by a team of researchers from the West Virginia University has proven that this increase in the spread of the disease is due to the large number of needles that are not handled properly and due to the huge number of drugs being delivered through needles. The study focused on techniques and theories on why contaminated needles exist and why is it hard to obtain newer clean ones.
The study was led by an associate professor in the School of Public Health called Dr. Steve Davis. He published the study and results in the Harm Reduction Journal. He commented on his results saying, “I believe the biggest barrier to needle exchange is paraphernalia laws and policing behaviors. When I talked to people attending needle exchange programs, what I heard was, they don’t want to discard needles. In fact, they would get upset at other attendees who perhaps would do that. They would say, If I had a child, I wouldn’t want them to get stuck with a dirty needle.”