GLOUCESTER (AP) — Massachusetts public health officials have approved the North Shore’s first needle exchange program.
The Department of Public Health has given the Gloucester-based service agency North Shore Health Project the go-ahead.READ MORE: MBTA Giving Out $5 Dunkin' Gift Cards And Free Masks At 15 Stations Monday
Director Susan Coviello tells The Gloucester Daily Times she hopes to have the program in place by October. The program will include counseling, disease screening, Narcan distribution and education in addition to the needle exchange.
Under such programs, drug abusers and others can get clean, new needles, reducing the risk of disease and infection that comes with re-using needles. Advocates say it will also cut back on the dangerous disposal of needles in public places.READ MORE: Unvaccinated State Workers Could Lose Jobs With Vaccine Mandate Now In Effect
Opponents say needle exchanges enable addicts.
There are just six licensed needle exchange facilities in the state.MORE NEWS: Lawrence High School Teachers Will Rally Before Class To Protest Spike In Violence
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