Changes may be in store for Baltimore's needle exchange program

Maryland Senate set to vote today

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) -- The Maryland Senate is scheduled to vote on changes to Baltimore's needle exchange program.
The bill set for a vote on Thursday would repeal a requirement that needles be exchanged on a one-for-one basis, allowing users to get as many syringes as they want.
The program currently exchanges clean needles and syringes for used ones on a one-for-one basis. 
The city's health department says the program serves about 2,500 people annually and exchanges about 200 needles for each of them. The Baltimore health department estimates the change will result in each participant getting an additional 60 syringes annually.
A state analysis estimates the city's health department expenses would increase by $19,500 in the next fiscal year and for the next two fiscal years after that.
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