Responding To A Need

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After the AIDS epidemic outbreak, the Sisters of Franciscan Third Order Hospital decided to lend a hand to the community. As nurses, they thought it was imperative to do as much as they could to save lives. Bethany’s Place was initially a healing service center. Now Bethany’s Place includes six different programs to help people. All of these programs have produced better resources to prevent HIV/AIDS and aid in care to those that are affected physically and mentally. The most talked about is the Need Exchange Operation which happens to work in the Metro East in places such as Illinois and Missouri.

The primary goal of the Needle Exchange Operation is to “provide harm reduction services including a Syringe Exchange Program (SEP),” (NEOME) to reduce the risk of harm that may be done. It is to avert the spread of HIV/Hep C and save lives. Not only do they provide users with new and safer needles but other resources come into play when a user enters into Bethany’s Place. The works or volunteers make sure the users get all the information and provide new information to reduce the risk of harm that could be done. They also give counseling to those that are lost and need help. Or wound care, to those that are harmful and are afraid to go elsewhere such as the hospital. The most important is overdose training, which involves giving contact information to authorities such as the police, first responders, and others. Along with medical assistance, they provide training programs to help prevent overdose. The Needle Exchange Operation, in a way, could be similar to rehab, but it can also be an educational resource.

The overall claim of Needle Exchange Programs is used to prevent adverse side effects of drug addictions. Being able to access clean syringes that allow people to protect themselves against diseases such as HIV and hepatitis C. Through this exchange the goal is to lessen the overdose and diagnosis of either a drug overdose or viruses. Because those that are using now will continue to use until they are ready to seek help, till then it is for the betterment of everyone to provide cleaner and alternately safer ways to give the people what they want.

In addition to the Metro East area being active in the Needle Exchange Programs other programs such as ENCORE, also known as Education, Needle Exchange, Counseling, Outreach, and Referrals in Rhode Island. It aims to reduce risk and transmission of HCV, HIV and other drug-related harms. The services focus on preventing damage rather than primarily focusing on drug use. In relation, different states have different means of preventing harm, but the overall idea is there, to avoid any harm being done.