Metro Council passes ordinance allowing needle exchange - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Metro Council passes ordinance allowing needle exchange

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Louisville Metro Council voted on Thursday to move forward with a plan to implement a needle exchange program. But some council members still have some questions about how the program would work.

“Some of us would like a little more even just a broad idea just what your thinking is,” said Metro Council member Marilyn Parker at Tuesday's Public Safety committee meeting. “What's a ball park figure for the program?”

Louisville health and wellness officials say they are still working out the final details about how the program will work but have said there will be six locations. Where those will be has yet to be determined.

“We're working on getting locations dates and times all set up,” said interim director of Louisville Health and Wellness Dr. Sarah Moyer. “It will depend on finding places that are both safe for my staff and the drug users.”

Leaders say the program would not only cut down on blood-borne illnesses, but would also give better perspective on how many people may be addicted to heroin in Louisville.

"I think it will give us access to that population that we don't have because we can't answer that right now," Dr. Sarah Moyer, with Louisville Health and Wellness, said. "The CDC is even looking at ways to do that right now and this needle exchange will help us get that data."

The ordinance passed on Thursday came with an amendment that the health department will have to come back before the public safety committee and outline plans with council members before the plan can be enacted.

The hope is still have the program up and running by July.

“We're still working out the details but we're thinking of having one substance abuse counselor in charge of the program,” Said Dr. Moyer on Tuesday. “Then have them go to six different sites, six days a week. That is our tentative plan.”

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