Associated Press Published

Berkeley County Studies Starting Needle Exchange Program

needle, syringe

Berkeley County health officials are looking at implementing a needle exchange program for intravenous drug users.

The program would be part of a larger harm reduction strategy that health officials want to establish.

The Journal reports that the Berkeley County Health Department held a roundtable discussion on Friday with local agencies and organizations interested in becoming partners in a harm reduction coalition

A needle exchange program allows intravenous drug users to exchange used syringes for clean ones.

Health department epidemiologist Timi Adediran says 32 of 78 communicable disease cases reported to the agency in 2014 were Hepatitis B. Hepatitis can be transmitted through syringe sharing by drug users.

West Virginia’s first needle exchange program was launched in Cabell County in September.