WAYNE COUNTY, Ind. -- Wayne County wants to launch a needle exchange to fight growing problems from heroin.
In 2015 at Richmond's Reid Health, 59 babies were born to heroin-addicted mothers.
Throughout the county, heroin-related deaths have increased 50 percent over 2015.
According to Wayne County health officials, residents there die of drug poisoning at a rate far higher than the rest of the state. They suffer overdoses at a rate more than double that of all Hoosiers.
And individuals contract Hepatitis C at a rate nearly three times than that of the rest of the state.
Wayne County Health Officials see a needle exchange program as the only way to stop the spread of disease and put people in contact with addiction services.
The State Health Department must still approve Wayne County's needle exchange program.
Four Indiana counties including Scott, Fayette, Madison and Monroe currently have needle exchange programs.