LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- It's an expanded effort to get more dirty needles off the streets of Louisville.

A growing number of addicts has Metro Louisville taking its needle exchange program on the road. It plans to opens its first community syringe exchange site at the Lake Dreamland Fire Station next week, allowing addicts to exchange dirty needles for clean ones.

The new location is in addition to the permanent needle exchange site on Gray Street in downtown Louisville. 

Starting Oct. 22, the second location on Cane Run Road will be open Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. 

Council member Jessica Green says there is a real need for the program in her district.

"I'm hearing about ODs everyday," Green said. "I'm hearing about kids who have lost their mothers and lost their fathers to drug overdoses. So we've got addicts out in the area. Neighbors do not need to be fearful that we're gonna be bringing drug users to the neighborhood. They're already here."

For those who aren't convinced giving out needles is the solution, workers who see the consequences of addiction every day have a quick answer. 

"They're going to inject drugs anyway so you want to give them clean syringes," said Donald Davis with Volunteers of America. You have to look at the fact that Kentucky leads the country in Hepatitis C infections and has the third highest rate of overdoses. So we're trying to prevent anymore HIV, anymore Hepatitis C and hopefully anymore overdoses."

In the first four months of Jefferson County's needle exchange program, more than 900 people have participated. 

Health department officials plan to open more exchange sites in the next few months.


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