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Butte County Supervisors Vote To Ban Needle Exchange Programs

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The Butte County Board of Supervisors Tuesday approved an ordinance banning sterile syringe programs within the county’s unincorporated areas.


The prohibition on needle distribution programs follows similar bans in Chico and Oroville.


Supervisor Tod Kimmelshue – whose district covers the south Chico, Biggs and Gridley areas – brought the issue forward. 

“I think that addicts – or people that are addicted to drugs – I have sympathy for them,” Kimmelshue said. “But I also have sympathy for those people – citizens of Butte County – who are concerned and scared and want to make sure that their children can walk through parks and that we have waterways that are safe.” 


Public Health Director Danette York told the board that studies show syringe services programs are effective and help address substance-use disorders.


They also help prevent the spread of blood-borne infections such as HIV and hepatitis C.


The board unanimously approved the needle ban.