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Thursday, January 26, 2017

Ind. Gov't. - AG Hill "expresses concern of needle exchange legislation" [Updated]

Jacob Burbrink, Internet Director, WPTA21, reported late yesterday:

Ind. (WPTA 21) -
Indiana's Attorney General addressed his concerns Wednesday of legislation introduced that would expand statewide needle exchange programs.

The proposed legislation would allow a county or municipality to approve the operation of a syringe exchange program. The programs enacted in this way would be allowed to be renewed for not longer than two years. They would also be required to keep a sufficient supply of an overdose intervention drug in stock. The state health commissioner would be given written notice when the programs are renewed, expired or terminated or if the organization operating it changes.

Currently, only counties possess the ability to call for needle exchange programs. They can only do this when a health emergency, such as Hepatitis-C or HIV outbreaks, occur. Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill says the proposed bill would eliminate the requirement that exchange programs only be initiated in response to health emergencies. He says while well intended, this can lead to issues down the road.

“The current needle exchange program may be well intended, but it has evolved into a needle giveaway, ultimately contributing to more syringes being passed around and shared in our communities," Attorney General Hill said.

Attorney General Hill says the proposed bill would only allow more communities to pass out needles without justifiable cause. He says this would be a detriment to efforts to get victims of drug abuse the treatment they need. * * *

Attorney General Hill assured the Public Health Committee that his office is willing to work with them towards a more comprehensive solution aimed at solving the State’s heroin problem.

“I don’t want another Hoosier to die from their addiction – especially with a needle provided by the State of Indiana.”

ILB: It is unclear from the story whether this is from a news release, or if AG Hill testified at a committee hearing.

The bill is HB 1438.

[Updated at 10:25 AM] Okay, it was a news release. You may read the full release here. It includes:

Attorney General Curtis Hill made this statement following his testimony this afternoon.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on January 26, 2017 10:09 AM
Posted to Indiana Government