Fargo Could Get First Needle Exchange Program Within Next Few Months

The program could be in place by mid-March

FARGO, N.D. — A needle exchange program may be the first of its kind in downtown Fargo, but it’ll be modeled after Moorhead’s Good Neighbor Project.

“I think there has been a lot of success from the Moorhead Good Neighbor Project. We want to expand and we know people from Fargo have been using that location in Moorhead,” said Dr. John Baird, health officer at Fargo Cass Public Health.

All Fargo needed was the state legislature’s approval to start the expansion.
Now that the city has it, the needle exchange will be used to help prevent diseases from spreading across the metro.

“Especially HIV and Hepatitis C because those are transferred by needle punctures and that sort of thing so we want to decrease any harm to individuals in our community and the spread of disease,” Baird said.

The center will test people for diseases, give them advice on how not to pass it along and provide treatment options for those who would like to get rid of their drug addiction.

“We know that they’re there and people die and so having a place where someone can come to get confidential information, to feel comfortable to talk to someone about their drug use and about the potential of having an infectious disease like Hepatitis C, HIV and how to prevent transmitting it is very important,” Baird said.

Now the public is being offered a chance to make their own recommendations for the program.
They can do so at 10 a.m. on Friday, February 2 in the Commission room in Fargo City Hall.

Fargo expects to have the needle exchange program up and running by mid-March if all goes as planned.

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