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Missouri’s health department director wants needle-exchange program

Missouri’s Health and Senior Services director Randall Williams said on Wednesday that he wants lawmakers to pass legislation for a needle-exchange program in the state.

Williams said providing intravenous drug users with clean syringes could reduce needle-sharing that spreads hepatitis C and HIV.

Williams and other experts recently talked about ways to fight the deadly opioid crisis in Missouri.

Williams said the potential health benefits outweigh concerns that a need exchange could enable drug use.

The director also said he supports Missouri lawmakers requiring continuing education for prescribing opioids and managing pain.

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