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Boyle syringe exchange delayed as details finalized

Boyle County’s planned syringe exchange program is still in the works as the Boyle County Health Department decides on details of how the program will operate.

“We are working through preliminary details,” Boyle County Health Department Director Brent Blevins said. 

Blevins said the health department is still working through funding details, as well. 

The health department and the Boyle County Agency for Substance Abuse Policy (ASAP) have received a $20,000 grant from Kentucky ASAP. The health department will use $15,000 of the grant for the program to pay for the supplies and other materials needed. 

The grant will not fund staff salaries or expenses, Blevins said. He is still working on options for funding the staffing side of the program.

One other detail that needs to happen before the program can start is training for those who will be running the program. 

The original projected start date of the program was early November, but right now, Blevins said he was unsure as to when the program will officially start. 

Once training is complete, the program will be able to start shortly after that, he said. 

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.

When the needle exchange program starts, it will be held in the basement of the Boyle County Health Department on Fridays from 1 to 3 p.m.

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.