Clallam needle exchange clients increase, but number of syringes lent out falls
First of all, a semantic issue: These needles aren't really "lent" out. They're given away. If they do end up coming back, great, fine. But there's no way to assure that they come back. Hence, they are given away.
Anyway...The positive shine put on this situation in this story doesn't have much luster. Christina Hurst, public health programs manager told a couple dozen people dozing their way through a PABA meeting that the local needle exchange program has become more "efficient." Which isn't a bad thing, budget-wise, but the fact remains that the number of people seeking to use this particular shoot 'em up service continues to rise.
In 2014, Hurst said the exchange received 800 repeat visits from about 234 clients in the community who then distributed sterile syringes to about 1722 people. In 2015, the exchange received 865 repeat visits from about 275 clients who then distributed sterile syringes to about 2264 people.
That's a pretty big jump, from 1722 to 2264 people, especially against the backdrop of the small population of Clallam County and the peninsula as a whole. It also almost surely fails to capture or account for all the people using and injecting drugs in Clallam County. And all semantic niceties aside (referring to drug addicts as "clients"), it's clear that the drug problem in Clallam County continues to grow.
Handing out more needles.
Saving enough money to buy new spoons.
(Footnotes of irony: Christina Hurst, now being sent out to tout the needle exchange program, initially spent a great deal of time and energy fighting it, arguing against it. Her lack of concern about drug abuse in Clallam County is no secret. Meanwhile, speaking of abuse, while Hurst may not be a drug abuser herself, she is, in fact, a serial abuser as a manager. She is well known for being harsh, abusive, punitive, etc. with those who have to work under her. She is insecure, petty and vindictive, and has caused a great deal of staff turmoil and turnover in her little area of the County Health Department.)