needle exchange

Second Indiana County Shuts Down Syringe Exchange Program

Oct 18, 2017
Steve Burns / WTIU

The Lawrence County commissioners voted Tuesday to end the southern Indiana county’s syringe exchange program. The county is the second in the state to close its program down.

The exchange, up for renewal after a year of operation, was suspended earlier this month, pending renewal by the county’s commissioners.

Gretchen Frazee / WTIU News

Several weeks before Indiana’s state health commissioner Jerome Adams was nominated to replace Vivek Murthy as U.S. Surgeon General, Adams toured a detox center in Indianapolis with Justin Phillips, founder of Overdose Lifeline - a grassroots organization focused on preventing opioid deaths. “I asked him to accompany me to see first hand some of the treatment and recovery work that's being done within Indianapolis,” says Phillips .

 

Unable To Arrest Opioid Epidemic, Red States Warm To Needle Exchanges

Jun 16, 2017
Shefali Luthra / KHN

Former heroin user Kendra Williams, 24, knows she’s lucky. She recalls sharing dirty syringes to shoot up, risking hepatitis C and HIV. More than two years into recovery, she knows about 30 people who have died from drug overdoses — this year. Over the past five, she guesses, it’s close to 50.

Treatment ‘Silos,’ Needle Exchange Bill Edges Forward In Indiana

Mar 24, 2017
Joe Flintham/via Flickr

A bill that would give counties the ability to set up needle exchanges without first getting state approval is one step closer to becoming law.

Indiana Locals Could Soon Approve Needle Exchanges, But Still Lack Funding

Feb 20, 2017
DeepFruit/via Flickr

New governor Eric Holcomb promised in his State of the State address to make it easier for counties to establish syringe exchange programs and a bill moving through the legislature would make that possible.

But the programs still face significant opposition from officials, and funding the programs remains the largest barrier.

 


Offering Syringes Along With Prayers, Churches Help IV Drug Users

Jan 3, 2017
Taylor Sisk/for KHN

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. — When Gov. Pat McCrory signed legislation in July legalizing syringe exchange programs in North Carolina, James Sizemore rejoiced.

When she was 17, Tracey Helton Mitchell was prescribed an opioid pain killer after getting her wisdom teeth extracted. The medicine helped her deal with the pain related to the extraction, but when the prescription ran out, her desire for its euphoric high remained. That's when she turned to heroin.

The needle exchange in Fayette County, Ind. is hidden in a back office at the health department. Paula Maupin, the county’s public health nurse, runs the exchange, which is basically just a desk with baskets of everything a drug user needs, apart from the drugs. There are syringes, cotton balls, alcohol swabs—even tourniquets.

 


Seth Herald / Side Effects Public Media

Amid fears that providing free, clean needles would promote illegal drug use, Congress passed a law prohibiting the use of federal funds to support needle exchange programs in 1988. But at the end of last year, lawmakers effectively ended that ban.

Seth Herald

Getting Right, Part 2

Read our entire Getting Right series.

Heading out into the field, public health nurse Brittany Combs is a little angry, and in a hurry. Driving the county’s mobile needle exchange through Austin, Indiana can be hectic. Today she’s on a mission to find Jessica, a young mother who wants to go to rehab. But Brittany keeps getting interrupted.

“I’m supposed to be going to get Jessica right now,” she says as she pulls out of the community center, where the needle exchange is based. ”I told her I’d be there at three. Well, that’s not gonna happen.”


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