This LawAtlas map identifies the characteristics of each state's prescription and paraphernalia laws related to syringe distribution.
Historically, state laws have created barriers that make it difficult for injection drug users to access sterile syringes by criminalizing distribution and possession of those syringes. These laws have likely increased the transmission/spread of blood-borne diseases like HIV/AIDS. As awareness of this public health issue has increased, many states have amended their laws. The statutes and regulations that specify the requirements for distributing syringes are found principally in criminal statutes relating to drug paraphernalia, pharmacy statutes and regulations, and statutes and regulations that authorize syringe exchange.
The data in this map are curated by Scott Burris, JD, director of the Public Health Law Research program.