WHITESBURG, Ky. — A Kentucky county’s fiscal court has unanimously voted to approve a proposal that would create the county’s first needle exchange program and call for doses of the opioid-reversal drug Narcan to be standard in every emergency response vehicle.

Letcher County Judge Executive Jim Ward told WYMT-TV the proposal is designed in the interest of public health, and said that the county regularly finds needles in ditch lines.

The needle exchange would also provide users with sharps containers for dirty needles, to prevent infecting others.

Sheriff’s deputy Eugene Slone says Narcan can also save the lives of first responders, who are exposed to fentanyl while treating overdoses.

Slone says needle exchange programs can facilitate dialogue between doctors and users.

The Letcher County City Council will vote on the proposal in September.

Information from: WYMT-TV, http://www.wymt.com/

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