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Boyle syringe exchange authorized by fiscal court

The Boyle County Health Department is now fully authorized to move forward with a syringe exchange program following approval from the Boyle County Fiscal Court Tuesday.

“I think this is a very important program,” Magistrate Jack Hendricks said.

The fiscal court voted to allow the creation of a syringe exchange program one day after Danville City Commission also approved. The program will allow injection drug users to exchange used syringes for clean ones with the goals of stopping the spread of disease and helping drug users find rehabilitation options.

The exchange is slated to begin in November and be open in the basement of the health department from 1 to 3 p.m.

Solid Waste Director Donna Fechter said she believes this is an important program to have.

“We have found many of these needles on the side of our roads,” she said. 

“It has become a need in our community, in a way. I’m sorry it’s a need, but sometimes it is what it is,” Blevins told Magistrates. “We are trying to figure out how to deal with it and help people.”

In addition to the exchange program, Ephraim McDowell Medical Center has partnered with the health department.

Blevins said for those who come into the emergency room and are injection drug users, the hospital will give them clean needles, but will refer them to the program at the health department.  

Now that the program has been approved locally, the Boyle County Agency for Substance Abuse Policy (ASAP) and the health department are waiting to hear back on a grant application to Kentucky ASAP grant for $20,000, $15,000 of which would go to fund the exchange program. 

“I think this is something that is a must,” Hendricks said. “We have to do it.”

SO YOU KNOW

The Boyle County syringe exchange program is tentatively planned to begin around the start of November. The program would be available on Fridays from 1 to 3 p.m. in the basement of the Boyle County Health Department.