Indiana county’s needle exchange program faces funding woes

ANDERSON, Ind. (AP) — A central Indiana county’s needle exchange program is in jeopardy amid efforts to cut its local funding.

The Herald Bulletin reports the Madison County Council last week tabled a $15,000 request from the county health department to fund the program.

Councilman Brent Holland is drafting an ordinance that would bar county or grant money from being used to purchase syringes or cookers used by intravenous drug users.

Stephanie Grimes of the health department says the supplies are purchased with money from private donations, not state or federal funds.

Indiana began allowing needle exchanges in 2015 after IV drug use sparked the state’s worst-ever HIV outbreak. Medical experts say the programs reduce the spread of HIV and other diseases by providing people with clean syringes and discouraging needle sharing.

 

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