News Democrat

Local needle exchange program begins

By Damon Huff, Champion Media – 

The Brown County Health Department is going to fight back against the opioid problem in a new way.
“Prevention Point” is a blood-borne pathogen prevention program slated to start on March 1, from 1-3 p.m.
According to Pamela Williams, nursing director at the BCHD, the program will provide a clean needle in exchange for a dirty one.
“Heroin users will often share needles which can be dangerous because Hepatitis and HIV viruses can survive in the blood on used needles, so drug users who share needles risk infection,” Williams said. “Yes, giving needles to drug addicts does sound counterintuitive, but addicts are going to use until they get help or die therefore providing clean needles has several benefits.”
The program is designed to give out clean needles to users in an effort to help prevent the spread of chronic diseases such as hepatitis C, human immunodeficiency virus, and endocarditis, an infection of the heart valve that can ultimately lead to heart failure.