In a city ravaged by heroin, a needle exchange stalls

CAMDEN, N.J. (AP) — Advocates say the shuttering of a needle exchange in Camden, New Jersey, has left many in a city notorious for heroin without a resource that has handed out thousands of sterile syringes.

The Camden Area Health Education Center hasn’t given out a syringe in more than a year after private development booted it from its previous location.

A spokesman for Mayor Dana Redd says officials haven’t found a replacement location “that does not negatively impact our Camden residents or the quality of life in the surrounding area.”

And though the exchanges are backed by the state health department, the stalling of the exchange in Camden has people in the area buying needles off the street.

Syringe exchanges are intended to reduce the spread of blood-borne illnesses such as hepatitis C and HIV.