JAMESTOWN – The Jamestown City Council is getting more details about a planned syringe exchange program that will soon be implemented in the city, due to the increased use of heroin in the region.
During Monday’s council work session, Kimberly Lombard from Evergreen Health Services was on hand to provide details about her organization, which is based out of Buffalo but also has an office in Jamestown.
She said Evergreen Health Services wants to expand its syringe exchange program into Jamestown. She says the primary reason is that such a program will help to prevent the spread of HIV, Hepatitis and other diseases that can be transmitted through the sharing of needles while doing recreational drugs. Another reason for the syringe exchange program is to help link addicts to treatment when they are ready for it.
The exchange program provides a one-to-one exchange of used syringes for clean ones. The program allows for the safe disposal of used syringes and access to harm-reduction supplies like cotton, caps and alcohol wipes; overdose-prevention training; counseling; and a variety of safety and recovery workshops
This new initiative is designed to be operated in partnership with other human service agencies and would be housed with the Mental Health Association In Chautauqua County at the Gateway Center, located at 31 Water St., Suite 7, Jamestown. It is expected to get underway by this summer, pending approval from the State Health Department.
Both Mayor Sam Teresi and Public Safety Director and Police Chief Harry Snellings have come out in support of the program.