St. Johnsbury needle program seeks to expand services

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Organizers of a needle exchange program for intravenous drug users want to be able to distribute needles in St. Johnsbury. Currently, needles can only be exchanged at approved clinics.

St. Johnsbury’s Vermont CARES Community Advisory Board met yesterday to review an amendment to the program’s guidelines to allow that to happen. Under the proposal, well-trained outreach workers would provide drug users with a safe means of using needle-injected substances, like heroin. The workers would also be able to educate the drug users on health and safety issues.

Vermont Cares Executive Director Kendall Farrell says many people don’t take advantage of the needle exchange program in the clinics.

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