TRENTON – Senator Nia H. Gill, D-Essex, released the following statement on today’s report by The Associated Press on the success of the state’s clean syringe access programs, which were established in five pilot cities. Senator Gill was the prime sponsor of the “Bloodborne Disease Harm Reduction Act,” which created the New Jersey Syringe Access Program:
“This report confirms what we knew, that our long and hard-fought journey would be a success.
“Through this program, people in our communities whose lives could have otherwise been lost to addiction are getting treatment – nearly 1,000 have enrolled in drug treatment programs as a result.
“The people helped by this program are not faceless statistics that filled past debates over the issue: They are sons, daughters, mothers, fathers, friends and co-workers in our communities.
“This program is working – it’s working to reduce health care costs, to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS and other blood-borne viruses, but most importantly, to save lives and reduce the rate of pediatric HIV/AIDS.”