“Since Indiana opened its first state-run needle exchange last spring, Tara Burton, 25, has made weekly visits to turn over needles she used to shoot Opana, a prescription painkiller, up her track-marked arm.
The one-story clinic in rural Scott County, Indiana, marks a sea change in states where conservative lawmakers had staunchly opposed old needles-for-new exchanges.
An HIV epidemic in Indiana and a rise in Hepatitis C cases in Kentucky helped push those states to pass laws allowing communities to open needle exchanges. A pilot exchange program is due to begin in West Virginia in September. And Southern Ohio has opened exchanges in two cities since 2012.
“Some of the most conservative members of the community are supporting this now because they understand it,” said Scott Lockard, president of the Kentucky Health Departments Association. He added, however, that “lots of education” is still needed.
Opponents insist exchanges facilitate criminal behavior.”
Source: Reuters.com – August 2, 2015