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Davisson: Needle Exchange Legislation Advances To The Senate
Updated February 2, 2017 7:14 AM
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(STATEHOUSE) - The Indiana House of Representatives voted 72 to 26 Monday in support of a proposal co-authored by State Rep. Steve Davisson (R-Salem) that would allow a county or city to approve the operation of a syringe exchange program without declaring a public health emergency.

Under law, syringe exchange programs are set to expire in 2019. House Bill 1438 would extend the current policy to the year 2021. This legislation would also permit ongoing programs to be renewed for up to two years.

"This legislation is a proactive measure that allows counties and cities to act quickly in response to outbreaks and needs within the community," Davisson said. "By allowing locals to speed up the approval process, we can more efficiently and effectively address health emergencies like HIV or Hepatitis C."

The state health commissioner must receive written notice when a program is renewed, expired or terminated. The bill also requires a syringe exchange program to keep a sufficient quantity of overdose intervention drugs in stock to administer when needed.

Davisson said syringe exchange programs link participants to screening and treatment for hepatitis C and HIV, as well as substance abuse treatment. Studies over the past 30 years have demonstrated their effectiveness at reducing hepatitis C and HIV.

More information about House Bill 1438 can be found online at

Rep. Steve Davisson represents Washington County and parts of Orange, Lawrence, Jackson, Clark and Harrison counties.

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