Earlier today, Judge Michael Blee of the Atlantic County Superior Court continued the restraints against Atlantic City enforcement of Ordinance 32 (which would terminate the city’s syringe access services operated by South Jersey AIDS Alliance) until further order of the court.
Judge Blee also ordered Atlantic City to provide the New Jersey Commissioner of Health with formal written notice of the adoption of Ordinance 32, together with pertinent documents from the litigation. He intends to issue a written opinion on the duration of the restraints no later than December 3.
Carol Harney, Chief Executive Officer of South Jersey AIDS Alliance:
“Syringe access is health care, period. Every day that the clients of South Jersey AIDS Alliance have access to lifesaving health care service is a day worth celebrating, and we’re thrilled that our syringe services will continue operation for the time-being. Our job is to show up for people living with HIV and living with a substance use disorder with the best public health tools we have, and there is no denying that syringe access is an essential service for Atlantic City residents.”
Jenna Mellor, Executive Director of New Jersey Harm Reduction Coalition:
“We should be expanding syringe services to every corner of the Garden State, not shutting them down for arbitrary and discriminatory reasons. Today’s decision is a move in the right direction and a breath of relief for the individuals and loved ones who are healthier and safer because of syringe access in Atlantic City. As we lose more residents every day to preventable overdose deaths, we should be celebrating syringe access programs as the public health success stories they are. Until we make syringe services widely available for every resident, New Jersey cannot say we’re doing everything we can to end the overdose and HIV crises.”
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South Jersey AIDS Alliance is a caring and compassionate human services organization dedicated to the fight against HIV/AIDS. South Jersey AIDS Alliance’s diverse and integrated programs and services span over 4,600 square miles in Atlantic, Camden, Cape May, and Cumberland Counties. They serve over 4,600 people annually to meet the challenges of the rapidly changing nature of the worldwide and local HIV/AIDS epidemic. While headquartered inn Atlantic City, other centers are located in Bridgeton, Camden, Rio Grande, and Vineland.
New Jersey Harm Reduction Coalition promotes harm reduction by distributing naloxone, fentanyl test steps, and other harm reduction supplies through peer-led programs; advocates for syringe access expansion and equitable drug policy reform; and organizes to build power among people directly harmed by overdose and the War on Drugs.
To request naloxone (brand name Narcan) and safer use supplies, mailed for free and confidentiality throughout New Jersey, call/text 1-877-4NARCAN or visit www.nextdistro.org/newjersey.