Second Indiana county this year ends needle exchange

A southern Indiana county has become the second in the state this year to end its needle exchange amid concerns that the programs provide illegal paraphernalia to intravenous drug users.

Lawrence County’s commissioners on Tuesday terminated the county’s agreement with Indiana Recovery Alliance to operate the exchange.

The Herald-Times reported that county health board members joined hospital officials and others in urging an extension of the group’s contract to provide IV drug users with clean syringes and collect used ones to reduce needle-sharing that spreads hepatitis C and HIV.

But county Prosecutor Michelle Woodward told the commissioners she couldn’t support a program that facilitates illegal drug use.

Madison County ended its two-year-old needle exchange program in August after officials in the central Indiana county voiced similar concerns.

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