Indianapolis News and Headlines


Monroe Co. to establish needle exchange program

Posted at 12:10 PM, Dec 22, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-22 16:45:34-05

MONROE County, Ind. -- In an effort to combat hepatitis C caused by drug use, Monroe County is establishing its own needle exchange program, State Health Commissioner Jerome Adams announced Tuesday.

Adams declared a public health emergency for the county, allowing for the exchange program to begin.

“Monroe County is experiencing an epidemic of hepatitis C tied to intravenous drug use,” Adams said. “The syringe exchange is part of a comprehensive approach that will connect residents with treatment, healthcare and other services critical to improving their health and halting the spread of disease.”

Set forth by Indiana law, all aspects of implementation and design are up to the local officials. No state or federal money is appropriated for the exchange program.

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The declaration will last until Dec. 21, 2016. 

Monroe County is the fourth Indiana county to be declared a public health emergency. The others are Fayette, Madison and Scott counties.

Any questions related to the exchange program can be directed to Kathy Hewett at the Monroe County Health Department at 812-349-2722.


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