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Friday, January 27, 2017

Ind. Gov't. - More on: AG Hill "expresses concern of needle exchange legislation"

Updating this ILB post from yesterday, Shari Rudavsky of the Indianapolis Star reports today:

Needle exchanges may turn out to be a prickly subject between the governor and the state’s top lawyer.

Earlier this month, Gov. Eric Holcomb said he supports allowing local officials to approve syringe exchange programs that aim to reduce the spread of diseases such as hepatitis and HIV among intravenous drug users.

But when an Indiana House of Representatives committee heard testimony Wednesday about a bill that would do just that, Attorney General Curtis Hill raised concerns about the proposal.

In a statement released after the meeting of the committee on public health, Hill said the current needle exchange legislation, passed two years ago, has “evolved into a needle giveaway.” * * *

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention endorses syringe exchange programs as a way to reduce harm and prevent people who use intravenous drugs from contracting HIV.

For many years, such programs were illegal in Indiana. But two years ago, after an HIV outbreak associated with intravenous drug users in Scott County, the state passed a law allowing for needle exchange programs. Nine counties currently have needle exchange programs.

In addition to making it easier for local officials to adopt needle exchange programs, Holcomb said he planned to create the position of drug czar in his office to address substance abuse.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on January 27, 2017 10:18 AM
Posted to Indiana Government