Is Needle Exchange Program The Way To Go?

Originally Published in Network of Care | Full Story Link Here

June 08–“I hated myself, it was misery. But when you’re in the grips of it, the only way I thought I could escape it was one more time.”

Those are the words of Patton Couch, a young man in Kentucky recently diagnosed with hepatitis C, a disease he likely contracted by using a contaminated needle to shoot drugs into his veins.

According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officials, hepatitis C cases across West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee and Virginia tripled between 2006 and 2012. But hepatitis is just the beginning of the story. Scott County, Indiana, which shares some similarities with Appalachian drug users, is dealing with one of the nation’s worst outbreaks of HIV in decades among those who use needles to shoot drugs into their bodies.

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