Representative (Your State Representative)
MO House of Representatives
201 West Capitol Avenue
Jefferson, City, Mo. 65101
Dear Representative (Name),
My name is (your name). I am writing to request your support for Missouri House Bill 1620, sponsored by Rep. Holly Rehder. This legislation will assist our state in combatting the ever-increasing opiate crisis which threatens community health and safety of Missourians. This is an epidemic that our community knows far too well. The purpose of the bill is to provide a legal path for Syringe Access Programs (SAP) in our state at no additional cost to the state.
I join with State and County Health Departments through Missouri, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention as well as members of your own legislative body in asking you to support HB1620.
Passage of HB1620 provides for the adoption of language which will allow entities registered with the Department of Health and Senior Services to possess, distribute, deliver or sell hypodermic needles or syringes.
SAPs reduce overdose deaths by teaching PWID how to prevent and respond to a drug overdose. They also learn how to use naloxone, a medication used to reverse an overdose.
People who inject drugs (PWID) are 5 times as likely to enter treatment for substance use disorder and more likely to reduce or stop injecting when they use an SAP.
Syringe Access Programs will save the state of Missouri health care dollars by preventing infections. The estimated lifetime cost of treating one person living with HIV is more than $400,000. Testing linked to hepatitis C treatment can save an estimated 320,000 lives.
SAPs reduce needlestick injuries among first responders by providing proper disposal. One in three officers may be stuck with a needle during their career. Increasing safe disposal also protects the public from needlestick injuries. SAPs do not increase local crime in the areas where they are located.
Rural communities have limited access to SAP'S and substance abuse treatment services, despite the rate of drug poisonings increasing three times faster in rural areas than in cities. As such, SAP'S are critically needed in both urban and rural communities.
I ask you to support HB1620 to improve the health and safety of Missourians. Please contact me if you have any questions.
(Your Contact Information)