Barren County to participate in needle exchange program

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GLASGOW, Ky. (WBKO) -- The Glasgow City Council met Monday night and passed by one slim vote in a needle exchange program.

In order for the program to be implemented, state law requires the county board of health, city and county government to approve the plan after being informed with facts and statistics.

The Barren County Health Department would conduct the program to provide one clean needle in exchange for a dirty one. Anyone participating in the program would remain anonymous.

The only thing they would be asked is their zip code. Advocates say the program helps keep dirty needles off the streets, can decrease disease and allows for drug research.

"It could do all those, but for me the number one is the compassion for the drug addicts and their families to try to help them out," said Wendell Honeycutt, Council Member.

Warren County already implements the needle exchange program, and the health departments says about twelve people from Barren County participate there. Another element to the program is that participants would exchange their needles with a counselor.

"It also is a gateway for people to get into treatment, and then getting clean. so ultimately that's what we all want for our community and for our family."

In the end, the motion passed 5-to-4 with one abstention. Folks who voted no expressed moral concern, and wanted to seek other options.

The Barren County Health Department hopes to begin the program by March 1 which would take place one day per week for a few hours.

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