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City of Jackson Looks At Needle Exchange Program

Reginald Hardwick
City of Jackson

The city council in Jackson has begun reviewing a plan to allow programs to give substance abusers clean needles in exchange for used ones.

Jackson mayor Derek Dobies told WKAR News the exchange will help address the opioid epidemic and reduce new infections of Hepatitis C and HIV.

He also says needle exchanges put users in contact with someone they can trust.

“They’ll be able to help connect those users into rehab programs, help them figure out how to get off of the drugs that they’re using," said Mayor Dobies.

Critics say needle exchanges encourage illegal drug use.

Grand Rapids and Traverse City already have needle exchange programs.

The Jackson city council has not made a decision yet on a program. Mayor Dobies expects further discussion and possible action in the weeks ahead.

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