syringe exchange program

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, we continue a series exploring best practices for harm reduction programs in the state.

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As the state looks for ways to deal with the effects of the opioid epidemic, one type of program has seen a steady increase in use during the past year in West Virginia’s two biggest cities. Needle exchanges in Charleston and Huntington are providing services to more addicts each week, but are struggling to find the money needed to expand.

Huntington Shows Need for Needle Exchange

Dec 21, 2015
Cabell Huntington Health Department
Clark Davis / WV Public Broadcasting

As needle exchanges just get going around the state, Huntington’s program has been up and running for three months.

Last week, a college-age woman sat in the reception area at the Cabell-Huntington Health Department waiting to exchange used hypodermic needles for clean ones.  

"I think it’s really great actually, it’s helped a lot of people, it’s helped people stay away from diseases you know what I mean and I just think it’s really great. They offer a lot of things here that help a lot of people, myself included." 

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West Virginia's first syringe exchange program has received a $75,000 grant to expand.

The Herald-Dispatch of Huntington reports that the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation awarded the grant Thursday to support education and risk reduction programs for drug-addicted individuals. The syringe exchange program was started in September by the Cabell-Huntington Health Department.

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Charleston City Council has taken a step toward establishing a needle exchange program.

Council members approved an ordinance on Monday decriminalizing possession of hypodermic syringes and needles. The ordinance also allows distribution of needles and syringes that are part of a needle exchange program, so long as such a program is approved or sponsored by the city's police chief.

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The Wheeling-Ohio County Board of Health has voted unanimously to establish a county-operated needle exchange program.

Wheeling-Ohio County Health Department Director Howard Gamble tells local media that the program, conducted in partnership with Northwood Health System, could open as early as Friday, thanks to the Tuesday vote.

Can a Needle Exchange Program Work in Huntington?

Sep 1, 2015
Cabell Huntington Health Department
Clark Davis / WV Public Broadcasting

The Cabell-Huntington Health Department is set to make history in the state of West Virginia Wednesday, with the first needle exchange program. 

Training Begins for Syringe Exchange Program

Jul 22, 2015
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The Cabell-Huntington Health department played host to a two-day training session this week. Its goal: to help local health officials get acquainted with conducting a syringe exchange program. 

The first of two trainings conducted by the Harm Reduction Coalition of New York City focused on why a syringe exchange program is right for the Huntington area. The program will allow addicts to exchange their old syringes for new ones.  

DHHR to Launch Syringe Exchange in Cabell County

Jul 1, 2015
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The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources is piloting the state’s first syringe exchange program, aimed at reducing the risk of spreading diseases.

State DHHR officials will join will local health workers in Huntington Thursday to announce a program that is the first of its kind for West Virginia. The pilot Syringe Exchange Program will launch in Cabell County later this year.