Local needle exchange site proposal causes concern

HUDSON FALLS, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The organization that proposed a needle exchange site in Hudson Falls has withdrawn its application from the state Department of Health after public outcry.

A needle exchange site had people up in arms.

“There are people passing away left and right and it’s becoming a major epidemic,” Rachel Howard, of Hudson Falls, said.

Howard says heroin addiction has her community in its grips. A program that would have given addicts access to clean needles and treatment options downtown, faced harsh criticism for its proximity to kids.

“Like schools like parks like playgrounds, plus the fact that there are children living in this building,” Deputy Mayor Bob Cook said.

Cook says the community outcry is solely against the location, not the program itself.

“We understand the health benefits that come from getting rid of dirty needles frankly.”

Alliance for Positive Health is a not-for-profit that provides a wealth of services to people living with HIV/AIDs or other chronic illnesses their proposed move to 124 Main Street would have meant expanding services to include a syringe exchange program.

“We were kind of blindsided by it, we thought it might be something that we would have heard about ahead of time and had some insight on which we didn’t,” Justin McCann, of McCann’s Pharmacy, said.

Fourth generation pharmacist Jason McCann knows the importance of clean needles to prevent the spread of disease but says downtown is not the place for it.

“I think it would be a good thing,” Howard said.

Howard welcomes any program that could help addicts after losing her best friend to a heroin overdose.

“So if there was any help there maybe someone could have saved her life.”

Alliance has pulled the proposal for this downtown location but they’re still looking for a new location in Warren or Washington County.