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Needle exchange off to slow start in Wellington


WELLINGTON –— The first needle exchange clinic started its bi-weekly program Friday.

On the first day, no clients used the services at Wellington United Methodist Church, 127 Park Place. The clinic, supported by Local Initiative to Network Compassion of Lorain County, was announced in May as a new approach to the opioid crisis by providing clean needles and other services to drug users.

David Covell, health commissioner for Lorain County Public Health, said that low attendance is to be expected for the first few days. As time goes on, he said he expects to see more people using the clinic.

The clinic runs 1 to 4 p.m. every other Friday and provides harm reduction supplies to those in need. The next date is Feb. 22.

“We believe our LINC Harm Reduction Clinic will bring more people into our successful treatment program by offering immediate counseling and rehabilitation to those ready to make that choice,” according to a news release. “If they are not ready yet, we want to reduce the chances of them struggling with other health issues while they make their decisions to choose recovery.”

The LINC Harm Reduction Clinic will offer counseling, safe disposal and replacement of used syringes, access to drug rehabilitation centers, HIV/AIDS education and HIV/STD testing. The clinic also offers resources for family and friends trying to cope with loved ones suffering from addiction, medical care for wounds, free condoms and other medical services.

LINC works with its partners at the Alcohol and Drug Addiction Service Board of Lorain County, Lorain County Public Health, Nord Center, Nord Family Foundation, Let’s Get Real, The LCADA Way, Firelands Counseling, University Hospitals and The Cleveland Clinic Foundation.

For questions about the program, call Wellington police at (440) 647-2244 or walk into the Wellington Police Station, Wellington Fire Station or South Lorain County Ambulance District offices for immediate access to resources.

Contact Bruce Walton at (440) 329-7123 or Follow him on Facebook @BWalton440 or Twitter @BruceWalton.

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