Nearly 80 visits in April for health department’s syringe exchange program

During the month of April, the Lake Cumberland District Health Department’s Harm Reduction Syringe Exchange Program saw 79 total visits with 60 repeat visitors and six new visitors in Russell County. Just over 2,600 syringes were dispensed and also collected for a 98.6 percent collection ratio for the month.

The same figures also applied to returning clients, as the returning data last month was the same as total visits.

The goal of the Syringe Exchange Program isn’t to supply needles to drug addicts, according to the health department. Supplying the needles is a strategy being used to prevent the spread of Hepatitis C and HIV, to decrease the cost to society for treating Hepatitis C and HIV, to get used needles out of the ditches, and parks, and off the roadsides and disposed of properly, and to recommend referrals for treatment.