Madison County to resume needle exchange program

ANDERSON, Ind. (AP) — Commissioners in a central Indiana county that ended its needle exchange last year have decided to allow a behavioral health system to restart it.

The Madison County commissioners voted unanimously Tuesday to approve a contract with Aspire Indiana to manage it for two years.

Only four people spoke in opposition to the program before a meeting room full of supporters. Opponents expressed concerns over the disposal of syringes.

The County Council effectively ending the needle exchange program last August by barring the use of local tax money to manage it. It had been managed by the county’s Health Department.

The exchange started in August 2015 after the county northeast of Indianapolis declared a public health emergency stemming from needle-sharing that was spreading hepatitis C and HIV.

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