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Opioid epidemic sparks new health crisis

Officials are tackling the problem with clean needle exchanges.

Kentucky is a state hit hard by the opioid epidemic.

“I was in New York for 10 years and I’ve never seen people inject this many times,” said Donald Davis of the Kentucky Harm Reduction Coalition.

The use of IV drugs is now fueling another crisis – hepatitis C. If left untreated, the disease can be deadly.

Kentucky has the highest incidence of hep C in the country, increasing at seven times the national rate.

Officials are tackling the problem with clean needle exchanges.

Hidden here in the lush rolling hills of Appalachia is the town of Hazard, where the virus is rampant.

“We’ve got a little over 300 individuals in our needle exchange program,” said Scott Lockard, public health director of the Kentucky River District Health Dept.

Read on: Opioid epidemic sparks new health crisis

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