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New syringe exchange law causes hope and concern in Scott County

By Zoie Richey TheStatehouseFile.com  AUSTIN, Indiana — While walking down the streets of Austin, the sounds of dogs barking and sight of the trash in the ditches distract from the smaller, less noticeable objects lying on the ground: syringes. The bright orange caps are the only thing that help the needles stand out in the […]

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Attorney general at odds with governor over needle exchanges

By Quinn Fitzgerald TheStatehouseFile.com  INDIANAPOLIS – Attorney General Curtis Hill finds himself on the opposite side of Gov. Eric Holcomb and fellow House Republicans on the issue of syringe exchange programs. Hill testified against House Bill 1438, which would allow a county or city to enact its own syringe exchange program rather than have to […]

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Public health emergency declared in Allen County

Staff Report TheStatehouseFile.com INDIANAPOLIS — A public health emergency has been declared in Allen County, allowing the county health department to establish a syringe exchange program in an effort to stop the spread of hepatitis C. The increase in hepatitis C cases puts county residents at risk for other diseases spread through intravenous drug use, […]

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Monroe County to launch needle exchange to stem hepatitis C outbreak

By Rachel Hoffmeyer TheStatehouseFile.com INDIANAPOLIS – Monroe County will start a needle exchange program under a public health emergency declared Tuesday. “Monroe County is experiencing an epidemic of hepatitis C tied to intravenous drug use,” said State Heath Commissioner Jerome Adams. “The syringe exchange is part of a comprehensive approach that will connect residents with […]

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Number of HIV cases grows to 184 after testing blitz

Staff Report TheStatehouseFile.com INDIANAPOLIS – Three more people were diagnosed with HIV after a testing blitz in November – bringing the total in southeastern Indiana to 184. “While we hope to see no additional cases of HIV tied to this outbreak, we understand that we may continue to diagnose individuals with HIV infection who weren’t […]

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More than a dozen counties are considering needle exchange

By Amanda Creech TheStatehouseFile.com INDIANAPOLIS – Three Indiana counties – Scott, Madison and Fayette – are taking advantage of needle exchange programs and more than a dozen others are looking to add their names to the list. “I think it’s safe to say that these communities as they move forward they represent a new generation […]

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Madison County becomes second to launch needle exchange under new law

By Lesley Weidenbener TheStatehouseFile.com INDIANAPOLIS – Madison County will launch a needle exchange program to try to stem the spread of Hepatitis C spread through intravenous drug use. State health officials on Tuesday approved the Madison County plan under a law the General Assembly passed just this spring. It’s the first community to use the […]

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Needle exchange bill now law; Pence says it will save lives

By Lesley Weidenbener TheStatehouseFile.com INDIANAPOLIS – Gov. Mike Pence signed legislation Tuesday that will make it easier for other counties to launch needle exchange programs to combat diseases passed through intravenous drug use. The law takes effect immediately. It comes after Pence declared an emergency and created a temporary needle exchange program in Scott County, […]

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Video & story: In tiny Austin, needle exchange is controversial

Scott County Public Health Nurse talks about the Opana addiction from TheStatehouseFile.com on Vimeo. By Andi TenBarge TheStatehouseFile.com AUSTIN, Ind. – Until the news of the HIV outbreak in Scott County broke, the area’s drug problem was “a hush, hush thing.” That’s what Tammy Breeding says. Breeding, a single mother of three, lives in the […]

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Pence says he’ll sign needle exchange legislation

By Andi TenBarge TheStatehouseFile.com INDIANAPOLIS – Republican Gov. Mike Pence said he will sign a bill passed Wednesday by the General Assembly that lets local governments launch limited needle exchange programs – with approval from state officials. Pence had initially opposed legislation that authorized widespread needle programs, even though he had created a temporary one […]

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