NY to build more needle exchange centers in rural areas

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ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York is planning to allow more local health centers and clinics to offer needle exchanges in hopes of reducing the number of opioid overdoses and deaths.

The state Health Department approved the emergency regulations last month. New York has two dozen sites that trade dirty syringes for clean ones, and Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration wants to expand that number.

The new rules will allow LBGTQ centers, local health departments and other facilities to apply to offer such a service. New York’s health department plans to spend $250,000 for syringes, disposal containers, gloves and alcohol pads.

State health officials say 3,224 New Yorkers died from overdoses in 2017, up from 1,074 in 2010. Experts also point to spiking HIV rates linked to dirty syringes.

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