Mercer County needle exchange program to end

PRINCETON, WV (WOAY) – A needle exchange program in Mercer County is coming to an end.

The Mercer Count Board of health voted on Wednesday to end the program. They say it’s because the state passed legislation recently that regulates the needle exchange program, and the new requirements it brings are too much for the county to meet.

Greg Puckett, a Mercer County Commissioner and director of local non-profit Community Connections, says the situation is unfortunate.

“I think what really happened is, you take what the legislature did in this last session, and it really tightened things up so much that it made it unreasonable for health departments and community behavioral health centers to be able to operate the program effectively.”

Some of the extra requirements would force organizations to offer a large array of outreach services, which the county was not able to meet while still offering the needle exchange program.

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