Needle Exchange

Mary Meehan

Days after sending mixed signals on his response to the nation’s opioid crisis, President Donald Trump said Thursday that he plans to declare a national emergency to better address the epidemic.

“We’re going to spend a lot of time, a lot of effort, and a lot of money on the opioid crisis,” the president said, announcing that his administration was drafting the paperwork to make the emergency declaration official.


Rebecca Kiger

The Trump administration’s top health official backed away from a presidential commission’s proposal to declare a national public health emergency to address the opioid crisis.

An emergency declaration could have big implications for the Ohio Valley, a region with some of the country’s highest addiction and overdose rates.

The top recommendation from President Trump’s commission on the opioid crisis was for the president to declare the opioid crisis a national public health emergency.   


Lexington-Fayette Co. Health Dept.

Later this year, Madison County will join about 15 other Kentucky communities that offer needle or syringe exchanges. The county’s fiscal court gave unanimous approval Tuesday morning.   

Like most of the state, Madison County has seen alarming increases in the number of Hepatitis C infections caused by sharing of dirty needles by drug users.

The County’s Board of Health held two informational meetings earlier this year in Richmond and Berea before considering the resolution to establish the program.

Mary Meehan/Ohio Valley ReSource

Sitting on top of the Bible on Pastor Brad Epperson’s desk at the Clay City First Church of God is a list of goals for his small congregation written in a looping cursive hand.


courier-journal.com

Louisville Metro Public Health can provide new syringes to people regardless of whether used syringes are exchanged, according to the state Attorney General’s Office.

Louisville’s health department is operating what’s called a needs-based negotiation model, which provides multiple clean syringes regardless of whether participants bring in dirty ones.

The opinion issued Monday was requested by Senate President Robert Stivers,  a Republican from Manchester.

Groups such as the World Health Organization and the American Medical Association support the idea of needle exchanges as ways of reducing the spread of diseases like hepatitis among drug users.   Such programs distribute clean needles to drug addicts in exchange for dirty needles and encourage addicts to enter treatment programs.

Lexington Officials Consider Final Needle Exchange Draft

Jul 30, 2015
wbko.com

Fayette County's Health Commissioner is among those reviewing the final draft of plans for a needle exchange program.  Dr.

Lexington Prepares to Institute Needle Exchange Program

Jun 23, 2015
courier-journal.com

The Lexington Council is endorsing a needle exchange program. The initiative is a part of a new state law aimed at lowering diseases related to heroin use, including Hepatitis and HIV. Fayette County Health Commissioner Rice Leach brought the plan before city leaders Tuesday.  He says participants must bring in a needle to receive a clean one.  "If you bring in one, you only get one” said Leach.

Heroin Law Oversight Panel to Assess Impact of Legislation

May 29, 2015
nkytribune.com

Formation is underway of a task force that will oversee implementation of the state's new heroin law.  The co-chair of the task force says he witnessed heroin's rise in popularity in his community just over five years ago.

Localities Looking Into Needle Exchange Options

Mar 26, 2015
wfpl.org

Local governments are already moving to set up needle exchanges just a day after the Kentucky state legislature authorized the programs through a comprehensive heroin bill.

If implemented, drug users would be able to exchange dirty needles for clean ones from local public health departments.

Rice Leach, the commissioner of the Lexington-Fayette County Public Health Department, said needle exchanges would stymie the transfer of blood-borne diseases such as hepatitis C and HIV.

House Heroin Bill Heads to the Floor

Feb 11, 2015
cincinnati.com

The Kentucky House version of heroin legislation has cleared its first hurdle.  The full House could vote on the measure this Friday.

House Heroin Bill Detailed

Feb 9, 2015
kentucky.com

Lawmakers in the Kentucky House of Representatives have announced details of their own bill to combat the heroin epidemic in the state.  It varies from a measure passed by the state Senate in January.