In the middle of a fight against heroin abuse, Greenfield, Massachusetts, is one step closer to hosting a needle exchange. Residents requested the Board of Health look into the service last fall. Greenfield’s Public Health Director Nicole Zabko says there’s been no vocal opposition to the plan. And she says, town officials were well aware of legal issues facing another needle exchange in the region:
One of the main priorities of going through this process and taking the time that they did, was to not have a Holyoke situation on our hands; was to gain community consensus, was to make this a smooth process, should the approval be in the direction of wanting this type of program for Greenfield.
A judge has ordered Holyoke’s program to close late this summer because the city council had not approved it. In Greenfield, the Board of Health will vote on the needle exchange at their next meeting — in early June. The measure would also require approval by the town council. Massachusetts has committed to funding up to ten needle exchange programs, and currently four slots remain.