Needle Exchange Program Won’t Come to West Virginia Town

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RAND, W.Va. (AP) – Local outcry has scuttled plans to bring a needle exchange program to a West Virginia town.

News outlets report that Kanawha County Communities That Care spokesman Scott Burton said at a Monday night public meeting in Rand that communities that don’t want the harm reduction program won’t get it.

More than 100 people turned up at the Rand Community Center to hear from Kanawha-Charleston Health Department officials about the possible mobile program. Dozens of residents expressed their opposition through apparel and public comment, and the Community Association of Rand declined to take a vote on the health department’s proposal.

The opposition comes on the heels of an effort to end a similar program in Charleston, where the mayor says dirty needles have ended up on playgrounds and in public parks.