The needle exchange program run out of WNCAP, intended to serve the 18 counties of western North Carolina, often faces shortages in supply. For insight into the extraordinary demand for safe and unused needles in our community and from travelers across state lines, Blue Ridge Public Radio recently spoke to our own “Rubber Man” Michael Harney. Check out the interview below!
A needle exchange program in Asheville has been running out of supplies on a monthly basis for over a year. That’s according to Michael Harney, co-founder
of the Needle Exchange Program of Asheville. Harney says the group goes through about 60,000 needles a month but can’t keep up with the demand for clean needles. The program operated for years before the exchanges were legalized as a way to ensure those addicted to drugs don’t share needles and spread blood-borne diseases like HIV and Hepatitis B and C, which are on the rise in North Carolina.
Harney spoke with BPR’s Jeremy Loeb during a recent meeting with North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein, who’s made battling the opioid crisi one of his top priorities. That full interview is above.