Indiana prosecutor urges against needle exchange

MUNCIE, Ind. (AP) — A Delaware County prosecutor has urged county officials to oppose the organization of a needle exchange program, saying he believes the effort to decrease HIV infections was outweighed by risk of those needles being used to cook and use heroin.

The Star Press reports council members unanimously authorized an attorney to draft a resolution opposing a needle exchange program following prosecutor Jeffrey Arnold’s presentation of Madison County’s needle exchange kit. The package included fresh needles, condoms, saline for injections, small heroin “cookers” with twist-tie handles and a bio-hazard container for used needles.

The Legislature passed a bill this month allowing counties to start needle-exchange programs without state approval. Gov. Holcomb has supported the bill but hasn’t yet signed it.

Nine of Indiana’s 92 counties have needle exchanges. They started after a 2015 HIV outbreak in Scott County.

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