Although Boulder and Fort Collins are similar in some ways, one
city has not welcomed an illegal public service program accepted by
The Works is a program in Boulder that allows drug users to
exchange their dirty needles for clean needles, so that they may
inject illegal substances without the risk of contracting
Despite Boulder’s acceptance of the program, Fort Collins does
not plan to create a similar program. Some believe that a needle
exchange program would benefit the community.
“To prevent further HIV or AIDS infections, the data shows
needle exchange programs are effective and considering those
facts…we would be in favor of something like that,” said
Christiano Sosa, executive director for the Northern Colorado AIDs
Sosa said that because methamphetamine use is becoming a concern
in more rural areas, the system should be put into place before
there is a crisis.
“You have to set aside the moral argument. You have to set aside
the judgment and meet people where they’re at,” Sosa said. “Because
that is the foundation and basis of harm reduction programs.”
Some may be in favor, but with the current political climate,
developing a needle exchange program may be difficult.
“Considering state and local regulations, it would be extremely
difficult to legitimize and institutionalize a needle exchange
program in the Fort Collins area,” Sosa said.
Mayor Ray Martinez, as well as U.S. Sen. Marilyn Musgrave, has
consistently been opposed to needle exchange programs.
“I wouldn’t be in favor because of unintended consequences,”
He said that there would be undesired side effects if Fort
Collins were to adopt a needle exchange program.
“It has a trickle-down effect to other society problems,”
A needle exchange program is not currently proposed in the Fort
“There’s nothing in the works to have a program like that at
this time,” said Linda Jensen, executive assistant to District
Attorney Stuart VanMeveren. “We don’t anticipate one in the
Some health care workers believe a needle exchange program would
be beneficial to society.
“I think in any community where there is a population of
inject-able drug users, it is a good program to decrease the
transmission of infection,” said health educator Deb Morris.