Syringe/Needle Exchange Program

Hours and Locations of Syringe/Needle Exchange Programs in the Lake Cumberland Area

Adair County Health Department
Friday 8:30 A.M.-4:15 P.M.
801 Westlake Drive,
Columbia, KY 42728
(270) 384-2286 or (800) 928-4416

McCreary County Health Department
Monday-9am to 4pm
Tuesday- 9am to 4pm
Wednesday- 9am to 4pm
Thursday- 9am to 4pm
Friday- 9am to 12pm Only
Closed between the hours of 12pm to 1pm
South Fork Center, 119 Medical Lane,
Whitley City, KY 42653
(606) 376-2412

Pulaski County Health Department
Monday – Friday; Walk-in between 8:00 am and 4:00 pm
45 Roberts Street Somerset, KY 42501
(606) 679-4416

Russell County Health Department
Monday thru Thursday 8-4:00 (Closed for Lunch from 12:00-1:00)
211 Fruit of the Loom Drive,
Jamestown, KY 42629
(270) 343-2181 or (800) 928-4416

Taylor County Health Department
Monday – Friday; Walk-in between 1:00 pm and 4:00 pm
1880 North Bypass Road
Campbellsville, KY 42718
(270) 465-4191 or (800) 928-4416

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How are we doing?

How will the program operate?

LCDHD‘s Harm Reduction Syringe Exchange Program (HRSEP) has been modeled after successful programs throughout the country. It uses a cost-effective approach with best practices for disease prevention by utilizing existing staff and health centers already set up for providing services to this population. The program is open to anyone who uses injection drugs. Exchange of needles and rapid HIV testing will be provided anonymously; however, other health services, such as blood tests for hepatitis C, HIV, STD’s, pregnancy tests, and immunizations will be provided confidentially.

  • The program will operate during regular business hours.
  • Syringe and equipment provided through the HRSEP is free of charge to the participant. Clinical services beyond the exchange of equipment and rapid testing for Hepatitis C and HIV may be billed per the regular sliding scale fee or to a third-party payor if the participant is enrolled. No participant will be turned away for inability to pay.
  • All participants are required to agree to a list of Participant Rights and Responsibilities. Items covered by this policy include safely disposing of contaminated equipment and refraining from drug use on Health Department property. Violations can result in dismissal from the program.
  • Specially trained Health Department staff will operate the program, with a nurse serving as the primary provider. If client volume for syringe access is higher, additional staff can be assigned to assist with the program. If client volume is low, the nurse can provide other public health services.
  • Participants in the HRSEP will be offered a variety of referrals for other health and social services, including:
  • Treatment for a substance use disorder
  • Mental health care
  • Other Health Department programs

Why Can’t Diabetics Exchange Their Needles

The goal of the Syringe Exchange Program isn’t to supply needles to drug addicts. Supplying the needles is a strategy we are using to achieve our goals, which are: 1) to prevent the spread of Hepatitis C and HIV, 2) to decrease the cost to society for treating Hepatitis C and HIV, 3) to get dirty (used) needles out of the ditches, and parks, and off the roadsides and disposed of properly, and 4) to recommend referrals for treatment. Research shows that drug addicts, not diabetics, have a tendency to share dirty (used) needles and, thus, pass along blood-borne pathogens. It is not a coincidence that Kentucky has high rates of heroin use and the highest rates of Hepatitis C in the nation. Thus, the CDC has identified 54 Kentucky counties at high risk for an HIV outbreak.

If you are a diabetic who needs assistance with diabetic supplies, please check out this resource: The Kentucky Prescription Assistance Program (KPAP).

7 Things to Know about LCDHD’s HRSEP

  1. Reflects the Health Department’s duty to stop the spread of infectious diseases required by state law.
  2. Is a highly effective public health intervention that helps stops the spread of Hepatitis B, C, and HIV.
  3. Provides access and referrals to health care, including counseling, testing, and treatment.
  4. Increases likelihood of entering treatment for a substance use disorder.
  5. Helps remove dirty needles from public spaces, thus reducing the public’s risk of accidental needle sticks.
  6. Cost-effective with a 1:7 return on investment.
  7. An important component of LCDHD’s overall response to the heroin epidemic

How will the effectiveness be evaluated?

As with any new program, the Health Department will closely evaluate the HRSEP to ensure the program is working and to drive any changes that need to be made. Data will be shared with the District Board of Health as well as other community partners. Data can be found here: Syringe Exchange Performance.  Data to be tracked:

  • Number of unduplicated participants
  • Zip code of participants
  • Birth year of participants
  • Gender of participants
  • Frequency of injected drug use
  • Number of needles received and issued
  • Number of anonymous HIV tests given and rate of positivity
  • Number of confidential tests for STD’s, repeat HIV tests, Hep C tests, and pregnancy tests as well as rates of positivity for each Number and types of vaccines given
  • Number of participants entering treatment for substance abuse disorders
  • A number of referrals to other community resources.

Some facts:

Research about syringe exchange programs has found these programs:

  • Do reduce the spread of blood-borne diseases like HIV, Hepatitis B, and C, etc.
  • Do help people get on the path to drug treatment.
  • Do NOT encourage individuals to begin using drugs.
  • Do NOT increase drug use among existing users.
  • Do NOT increase crime in neighborhoods in which they operate.
  • Learn more: Kentucky Department for Public Health: Syringe Exchange.

What are the goals of the Syringe/Needle Exchange Program?

  • To prevent the spread of Hepatitis C and HIV explained as follows by Dr. Miles, a long-time member of the Russell County Board of Health.
  • To decrease the cost to society for treating Hepatitis C and HIV.
  • To get dirty (used) needles out of the ditches, and parks, and off the roadsides and disposed of properly; and, to recommend referrals for treatment.