The Tippecanoe County Needle Exchange Program is getting a new location

Lafayette Transitional Housing has agreed to host the program in its new facility next year.

Posted: Dec. 3, 2018 11:50 AM

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — The Tippecanoe County Needle Exchange Program is getting a new location. Lafayette Transitional Housing has agreed to host the program in its new facility next year.

The Tippecanoe County Commissioners approved the Needle Exchange Program for the third year in a row Monday.

The vote was not unanimous with Commissioner Tom Murtaugh voted against it. Murtaugh has been against the program from the start saying a recovering addict expressed that the program is not helpful to people trying to stop their addiction to drugs. He feels the program enables addiction.

However, Tippecanoe County Health Officer Jeremy Adler believes the program is successfully reducing the number of Hepatitis C cases as well as linking people to treatment. He reviewed data during the meeting showing how the Hep C trends are decreasing as a result of the program. The retention rate has also improved.

Adler cannot say whether that linkage treatment is resulting in recovery. That is why Murtaugh said he has an issue with the program.

Much of the controversy surrounding this program regarded its location at the health department offices on North 6th Street in the Centennial neighborhood.

Plans to move the location are in the works. Lafayette Transitional Housing has agreed to host the Needle Exchange Program at its new building expected to be up in the Fall of next year.

Elizabeth Mork lives in the 6th Street neighborhood and has spoken out against the program's location on several occasions.

On Monday, she expressed how happy she is that the location will be moved soon. She said neighbors feel the same way.

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