(INDIANAPOLIS) — For a second year in a row, legislators are debating an extension of Indiana’s needle exchange law.
Indiana began needle exchanges in Scott County when opioid use had sparked a major HIV outbreak there. Seven more counties, including Marion, have them now. A ninth county, Madison, allowed its program to expire last year.
Indiana Hospital Association senior public policy director Trent Fox says it’s not only a public-health measure, but a step toward getting addicts into treatment, by giving them a point of contact with the health system
Last year, the Senate rejected a bill to make the program permanent, but agreed to extend it into next year. Opponents charge the program amounts to an official seal of approval for intravenous drug use.
A House committee has voted unanimously to extend the program another eight years, to 2030. The full House could vote as early as next week.