Kentucky AG’s Opinion Delves Into Needle Exchange Programs

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) – Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway’s office says local health departments may provide syringes in needle exchange programs even if participants don’t turn in old needles.

The attorney general’s opinion on the issue was requested by state Senate President Robert Stivers, a Manchester Republican.

The opinion, written by Assistant Attorney General Matt James, says the term “exchange” in this instance “does not require a quid pro quo exchange of syringes.” The opinion says a needle exchange program may hand out needles in exchange for participation in the program.

Louisville’s needle-exchange program offers syringes regardless of whether participants turn in old needles.

A sweeping state law aimed at combating heroin included a provision allowing local governments to set up needle exchange programs.