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Needle Exchange Program Facts

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In late April of 2018, the City of Costa Mesa learned through social media and news reports of an application by the Orange County Needle Exchange Program to distribute needles in a Westside neighborhood near the intersection of Monrovia and 18th Street.

The application was filed with the California Department of Public Health’s Office of AIDS. City officials and members of the public had until June 25, 2018 to submit comments on the application. The city learned on July 31 that the state had approved the program.

Prior to the approval the city worked collaboratively with Santa Ana officials to learn more about the Orange County Needle Exchange, which had operated a needle exchange at the Santa Ana Civic Center before being shut down by city officials for violation of its permit. The Police Department also worked with law enforcement officials in Santa Ana and issued two responses to the state raising concerns about the needle exchange program and its threat to public health.

Below are documents that we have collected in one place for the public to view. Included are responses by the Police Department, Mayor Sandy Genis, the City Attorney’s Office, Newport-Mesa School District and members of the public.

For more information regarding this, please contact Public Information Officer Tony Dodero at 714-754-5288 or via email at