INDIANAPOLIS— A needle exchange program is coming to Marion County.
Marion Co. Public Health Department Director Virginia A. Caine, M.D., proposed the county’s first-ever syringe service program after declaring a public health epidemic in May due to a rise in the number of people infected with Hepatitis C.
The Indianapolis City-County Council voted 24-0 Monday night in favor of the proposal.
“The City-County Council has shown that it welcomes and supports the implementation of this program, knowing it will greatly improve the public health of Marion County at no added cost to taxpayers,” City-County Council president Vop Osili said after the vote.
The program will offer a needle exchange and other services, including:
- HIV Screening
- Hepatitis C Rapid Screening
- Referral for Substance Use Disorder
- Mental Health Treatment
- Immunization Access
The county health department says it plans to target specific neighborhoods with the most overdoses and use a mobile clinic to provide services to users in those area.
The Health Department says this program will come at no cost to Marion County taxpayers.
Marion County joins eight other Indiana counties with an active syringe service program.