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Program could bring clean needles to the streets of Chico

A proposed syringe exchange program could bring a mobile van to the city of Chico to hang out clean needles on the streets.

Posted: Jul 23, 2019 12:22 PM

CHICO, Calif. - A proposed syringe exchange program could bring a mobile van to the city of Chico to hang out clean needles on the streets.

The North Valley Harm Reduction Coalition applied to the State Department of Public Health to bring the program on board. 

The mobile van could be seen near the Chapman area, right next to the community park and two elementary schools. 

Chico Police Chief Mike O'Brien says the location of the van is a concern. 

"We've seen a lot of syringes deposited in that park," he said. "We've seen, and I've had complaints from parents who have had children actually watch people injecting drugs during soccer games."

Some people in the area are on board with the idea. 

"People who use will use either way," said Serina Gonzalez, a Chico resident. "I think this is a great opportunity to provide resources."

The program not only provides clean syringes to drug users, but also it will also provide health education and disease tests. 

The coalition group says there have been decades of research on the program and studies show it doesn't increase syringe litter. 

People can give their input on the proposed program with the county until Aug. 12. 

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