CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A bill that would regulate needle exchange programs is up for final approval in the West Virginia legislature.
Critics have said more stringent requirements for the programs will constrain the number of providers who serve drug users not able to quit the habit. Supporters said the legislation would help those addicted to opioids get connected to health care to fight addiction.
The new rules would take effect amid one of the nation’s highest spikes in HIV cases related to intravenous drug use. The legislation would require operators to offer an array of health outreach services. A Republican senator said providers can partner with health organizations.