National Governors Association  |  May 9, 2019

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With opioid-involved overdoses claiming the lives of 130 people every day across the United States, governors are looking to replicate best practices to address the epidemic and related challenges, including increased transmission of costly and devastating infectious diseases. This case study explores Kentucky’s effort to establish syringe services programs, referred to as Harm Reduction and Syringe Exchange Programs (HRSEPs), in areas hardest hit by the opioid epidemic. The first southern state to authorize syringe services programs, Kentucky has established more than 50 HRSEPs to curb infectious disease transmission, provide basic health care services and establish new pathways to substance use disorder treatment and recovery for people who inject drugs.

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