Duluth plans needle swap program

Duluth plans needle swap program Click to Enlarge Photo:

Aug 26, 2013 at 9:45 am

DULUTH, Minn. (AP) Duluth's mayor, police chief and other leaders are concerned by plans to open a needle-exchange program for drug users in a part of downtown they have worked to revitalize.

The city's nonprofit Center for Alcohol and Drug Treatment intends to open the needle swap program in early September. The goal is to fight the spread of blood-borne diseases like HIV/AIDS and hepatitis C.

But the intended site near Lake Place Park is in a part of downtown the city has worked in recent years to clean up and make more of a destination. Mayor Don Ness says city officials were not consulted on the location, but the clinic's CEO says the building is well-maintained and he's confident it will not cause issues.

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