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Roanoke organization working to create needle exchange program

(MGN Online)

ROANOKE Co., Va. (WSET) -- A new program to prevent the spread of Hepatitis-C could make its way to the Roanoke Valley.

The Drop-In Center has been working toward this for a while.

They offer Hepatitis-C tests and needle sterilization kits, but now, they are hoping for a needle exchange program.

Program coordinator Colin Dwyer says they are working towards a mobile unit where people can exchange needles.

These people would have to have IDs and be in their program.

He says people who take part in exchange programs are five times more likely to get substance use treatment in the long run.

"It's a good place where maybe someone who starts doing it and hey aren't thinking about treatment they have someone they can see all the time and they can forget them that and then they become that interface for when someone may be ready," Dwyer.

Dwight says needles are ten cents a piece, while hep-c treatment can cost as much as $10,000.

He says the city council will hopefully make their decision next month.

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