Preston County Board of Health renews harm reduction program for another year

KINGWOOD, W.Va. (WDTV)-- The Preston county board of health renewed their harm reduction program for another year with Milan Puskar Health Right in Morgantown.

Preston county Health officials recently voted to renew their harm reduction program for another year.

"They come over one day a month and offer harm reduction services," said VJ Davis, administrator with the Preston County Health Department.

Those services include the needle exchange program along with specialists helping drug users.

"They have counselors that come, they have nurses that come, they do supply each person with a sharps container that they can put their used needles in to bring back to them," Davis said.

Davis says the whole purpose of the program is public health and safety. Reducing the number of needles around the county, while helping people stay healthy.

"Help prevent the spread of things like hepatitis and HIV because it is supplying individuals that are addicted to drugs with clean needles as opposed to them reusing dirty needles," Davis said.

Davis says the health department staff has not received any complaints with the program since it started.

"It's a very quiet program from what we understand from Milan Puskar Health Right," Davis said. "Our program is one of their more successful programs."

The program provides a chance to seek treatment while returning needles to a safe place. Davis hopes the program will continue to keep as many needles as possible off the streets.

"We understand there are still a lot of needles that end up in the public," Davis said. "Our hope is that this program helps to get some of those out and in to the proper waste stream."