Needles found in Louisville restaurant parking lot - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Needles found in Louisville restaurant parking lot

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Questions remain about Louisville Metro's needle exchange program after a man says he found at least five needles in a fast-food restaurant parking lot near Shively.

“My initial thought was you've got to be kidding me,” said the man, who chose to stay anonymous. “In a McDonald's parking lot?”

This all happened at the corner of Dixie Highway and Millers Lane on Sunday morning. The man said he was sitting on the back of the truck when he noticed the needles.

“I looked down and saw a syringe,” he said. “I started looking around and everywhere you looked in plain sight there was either a cap, the needle or a syringe.”

This only draws more attention to a controversial needle exchange program voted into place by Louisville Metro Council in late April. In a 22-0 vote, council members voted unanimously to put the program in place with one condition: Louisville Public Health and Wellness would first have to present it's plan on how the program was to be run.

“We saw in Indiana where they had the increase in HIV,” District 12 Councilman Rick Blackwell said. “We haven't at this point had that kind of increase, and we're hoping that a program like this will keep it from happening.”

As it stands now, the Health Department is planning to hire one counselor to run the program. It will likely have six different physical locations and will be open six days a week. Where those locations are has yet to be determined. Some people disagree with the program.

“What does that say about our community?” one man asked. “The way I look at that, that's giving them an excuse to continue to do it.”

Proponents of the program say it's a long-term solution to a an ongoing issue.

“You can't get people into treatment ... if they aren't in any kind of relationship with the health department,” Blackwell said.

The program is expected to be up and running sometime in late July.

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