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Syringe Exchange Extension Sent To Governor

Lauren Chapman
IPB News

Indiana’s syringe exchange programs will get “another year of certainty” after a bill extending them was sent to the governor Thursday. 

State law would eliminate Indiana’s nine syringe exchange programs after July of 2021. And after the Senate killed a bill earlier this session to permanently extend them, many worried the programs were running out of time.

Now, they’ve been given a respite – albeit a short one. Legislation the House overwhelmingly sent to the governor extends the programs until July 2022.

Rep. Ed Clere (R-New Albany) says that extra year is vital for programs that provide so much more than just clean needles.

“Referrals to substance use disorder treatment and mental health services, health insurance and medical care, testing for HIV, hepatitis C and STDs, naloxone and food, housing, clothing, transportation and other necessities,” Clere says.

Gov. Eric Holcomb is expected to sign the bill.

Contact Brandon at or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

Brandon Smith is excited to be working for public radio in Indiana. He has previously worked in public radio as a reporter and anchor in mid-Missouri for KBIA Radio out of Columbia. Prior to that, he worked for WSPY Radio in Plano, Illinois as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. His first job in radio was in another state capitol, in Jefferson City, Missouri, as a reporter for three radio stations around Missouri. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.