Needle Exchange in West Virginia has No Plans to Restart

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) – A West Virginia needle exchange program has no plans to restart.

Kanawha-Charleston Health Department board President Brenda Isaac said on Monday the program won’t be reinstituted. The department suspended it in March after Charleston Mayor Danny Jones and first responders called for its closure over concerns about increased needle litter and other issues.

Isaac says the program won’t be reinstated no matter who’s elected Charleston’s mayor in November. The department discontinued it in response to rules Charleston’s police chief announced with Jones, including requiring participants to show photo ID and limiting it to only Kanawha County residents.

Isaac says the department wants to work with city officials to address the serious drug problem that’s contributed to the spread of communicable diseases including an unprecedented hepatitis A outbreak.