Preventing A Problem

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One bill signed by Governor Holcomb this session, gives local governments the authority to set-up a needle exchange program. However one Valley County has opted out.
   
The Daviess County Council decided not to establish a needle exchange program. They says it’s simply not the right fit for their community. Deciding against a needle exchange program was a decision that considered the opinions of many officials in the county.

“We acted on the advice of the three people in the county that probably have the most knowledge of the legal and medical issues on this. Our prosecutor our Sheriff and our county health nurse,” said Council member Mike Myers.

“My job as Daviess County Prosecutor is to make Daviess County as safe as I can make it for people to live and raise a family,” said Prosecutor Dan Murrie.

Prosecutor Dan Murrie believes implementing a needle exchange program would increase the usage of heroin, A drug the community currently doesn’t have much of.

“Every county has a drug problem that’s an absolute fact. Our drug problem still remains as methamphetamine. Many counties around us have a more severe heroin problem. Everything we are doing everything we can do to keep from being a county that has a heroin problem,” said Murrie.
   

Needle exchange programs are designed to slow the spread of contagious diseases like HIV and Hepatitis.
Medical experts say the programs do not increase drug use. However, Prosecutor Dan Murrie says the exchange program in Scott County spiked heroin usage by 80%.

“One of the things Prosecutor Murrie mentioned in his presentation is is this kid is basically everything you need to use these drugs with the exception of the drug itself. Like I said we’re not facing those issues right now. When I talk to our Sheriff, One thing he mentioned also was in some of the counties specially closer to the state lines down near Kentucky is people come in from across the state lines get these kits and take them home and use them,” said Myers.

County officials say they haven’t eliminated the idea completely. If there ever is an HIV out-break, the county will re-assess the need for a needle exchange.

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