Regulating controversial programs for unpopular people: Methadone maintenance and syringe exchange programs

D. C. Des Jarlais, D. Paone, S. R. Friedman, N. Peyser, R. G. Newman

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article


One third of all cases of the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) in the United States are associated with the injection of illicit drugs. There is mounting evidence for the effectiveness of syringe exchange programs in reducing human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) risk behavior and HIV transmission among injection drug users. Expansion of syringe exchange would require increased public funding and undoubtedly would include government regulation of syringe exchanges. An analogy is drawn with the present system of regulation of methadone maintenance treatment programs and possible regulation of syringe exchange programs. Specific recommendations are offered to reduce the likelihood of repeating the regulatory problems of methadone maintenance treatment in future regulation of syringe exchange programs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1577-1584
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican journal of public health
Issue number11
StatePublished - Jan 1 1995


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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