Boone County needle exchange a no-go

Posted at 5:12 PM, May 18, 2016

BOONE COUNTY, Ky. -- Plans for a needle exchange program in Boone County, Kentucky, were shot down when a resolution supporting the program was passed over on Tuesday night. County Commissioner Kathy Flaig didn't call for a vote on the issue.

"We are not interested," was Flaig's only comment on to WCPO regarding needle exchanges.

Pendleton and Grant counties have operational needle exchange programs.

The Grant County Health Department proposed a Northern Kentucky needle exchange program, which would include Kenton, Campbell and Boone counties on board as well.

Kenton County officials approved the plan, but actually launching a needle exchange in Kenton County was contingent on another Northern Kentucky county's participation. Campbell County Fiscal Court also approved a needle exchange program, but just as long as the City of Newport signs on as well. That left only Boone County to join the four-county plan.

RESOURCES: Where to get help for addiction

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Boone County was considering the plan until Tuesday's meeting, described as "tense." 

"There was no motion to even entertain a vote on that resolution," said Dr. Lynne Saddler of the Northern Kentucky Health District. Saddler said she thinks the "non-vote" will be a costly and dangerous decision.

"We're going to continue to see increases in hepatitis C, and our hepatitis B rates have already been increasing," she said.

Boone County Judge Executive Gary Moore said he thinks the commissioner is waiting for more information.

"The commissioners are doing what they think is best for our county," he said.

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