Temporary set-back shutters OCNEP’s mobile syringe exchange program until the end of the year
A San Diego judge has issued a temporarily injunction to shut down a mobile syringe exchange program run by the Orange County Needle Exchange Program (OCNEP), which is being sued by Orange County. A ruling issued in California Superior Court on Tuesday bars the mobile program from operating until a trial is held sometime in January 2019.
OCNEP is a volunteer-run, nonprofit needle exchange located in Orange County, CA. OCNEP is certified by the California Department of Public Health Syringe Exchange Certification Program. OCNEP provides access to clean syringes, disposal of used syringes, on-site HIV and hepatitis C testing, referrals to health, housing, and treatment services, if requested, and other harm reduction and safer-sex supplies and information.
Below is a statement from Armando Gudino, policy manager with the Drug Policy Alliance:
“We are disappointed with the judge’s decision but feel confident in saying this is only a temporary setback in Orange County where we see an increasing level of support for vital programs like the Orange County Needle Exchange Program. We hope for a speedy resolution because suspending the needle exchange – even for a short period of time – puts people’s health at great risk.
“We remain committed to supporting community interest while working hard to identify ways we can support good and responsible policy that will curve the flow of communicable diseases will providing much needed support services for those with problematic substance abuse issues.”