National Call-In Day: Tell Obama to End the Syringe Exchange Ban

During his campaign, President Obama promised to end the ban on federal funding for syringe exchange programs. Call President Obama TODAY at (202) 456-1414 or (202) 456-1111 and tell him to keep his promise to save lives. This summer, the House of Representatives took a historic step by removing the ban on federal funding for needle and syringe exchange programs (SEPs).? Now, the Senate must act, but they are not making this policy a priority.Senators need to hear from President Obama that his Administration supports syringe exchange. Now is the time to urge President Obama to fulfill his campaign promise to end the ban and to urge the Senate to act.SEPs promote health and human rights. More than a dozen scientific reviews of SEPs have shown that when implemented as part of a comprehensive HIV/AIDS prevention strategy, SEPs help reduce HIV transmissions without increasing drug use.Indeed, SEPs do more than provide clean syringes and properly dispose of used ones; they link people into the health care system and drug treatment programs that save lives.President Obama's leadership is key to moving this issue forward in the Senate. His support could help save the lives of thousands of people. 20 years is too long—help us end the ban today!Call The White House Comment Line TODAY at (202) 456-1414 or (202) 456-1111 and tell Obama to fulfill his promise and END THE BAN.Phone Script:Tell the operator where you are from and if you are a health professional and/or have any specific expertise relevant to needle exchange, AIDS, and/or harm reduction. It is okay if you don’t have specific expertise—Obama needs to hear from everyone, in every state, about this issue!Ask the operator to tell President Obama:

  • The research is clear–syringe exchange programs work. The presence of syringe exchange programs in communities does not increase rates of drug use, nor does it lead to a rise in crime. What it does do: decrease transmission of HIV, Hepatitis C and other diseases.
  • Now is the time for the President to make good on his promise to support lifting the ban on federal funding for syringe exchange. We are calling on President Obama to let key congressional members know that the White House supports Chairman Obey in fully revoking the ban on federal funding for syringe exchange.
  • The President must also urge the Senate to refrain from adding any language or amendments to the Senate bill that would place undue restrictions on SEPs. The detrimental “1,000 Foot Rule” contained in the House bill may seem innocuous, but in reality it severely and unnecessarily limits the locations of SEPs. In some cases, the rule makes it impossible for urban communities to have needle exchange programs at all.

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