Springfield Asks State Health Officials To Set Up Needle Exchange Program

Jul 11, 2018

Massachusetts State Health Department officials are being asked to set up a needle exchange program in Springfield in response to the opioid addiction crisis.

The formal request for a state-sponsored syringe services program came four months after the Springfield Public Health Council authorized it. 

Officials said discussions took place in the interim about the need for more addiction treatment beds in western Massachusetts.

Mayor Domenic Sarno dropped his longstanding opposition to needle exchange, but insists on more services for those affected by opioids.

" I want structured wraparound services based on hospital treatment with beds," said Sarno four months ago.

Sarno reinterated his position for more treatment-on-demand services in a written statement released by his office along with a copy of the letter to DPH requesting the syringe services program.

There are 20 syringe services programs in Massachusetts including Holyoke, Northampton, and Greenfield.