November 14, 2017

Clermont County Public Health seeks input on Syringe Services Program

BATAVIA, Ohio (Nov. 14, 2017) – Clermont County Public Health is seeking residents’ input on a proposed Syringe Services Program. A public forum will be held 6:30-8 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 30, at the Clermont County Engineer’s Office at 2381 Clermont Center Drive in Batavia. Public comments will also be accepted through an online survey.

Syringe Services Programs (SSPs) are public health programs that are intended to reduce the spread of infectious diseases such as hepatitis and HIV. The SSPs provide access to sterile syringes to people who inject drugs. The program can also make referrals to substance use disorder counseling and treatment programs. They also provide education on the prevention of infection and offer testing and referral for treatment for hepatitis C and HIV.

The proposed program in Clermont County would be a collaborative effort between Clermont County Public Health, Mercy Health – Clermont Hospital, Hamilton County Public Health, and the Exchange Project. A mobile van would come to the hospital parking lot one half-day each week to provide the services.

In Clermont County, the rate of hepatitis C infections have risen by 40 percent, and HIV rates have risen by 27 percent over the last five years. Clermont County ranks fourth in Ohio in drug overdose deaths.

“The Syringe Services Program would be a needed resource in Clermont County,” said Health Commissioner Julianne Nesbit. “The goal of the program is to lower rates of hepatitis C and HIV, while also providing access to treatment to people with substance use disorder.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control, people who inject drugs are five times as likely to enter treatment for substance abuse disorder and are more likely to reduce or stop injecting when they use a Syringe Services Program.

For more information on the Syringe Services Program, or to complete the community survey, visit www.ccphohio.org.

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Clermont County Public Health (CCPH) is dedicated to the mission of striving to improve Clermont County by preventing disease, promoting health, and protecting the environment. For more information, visit www.ccphohio.org or call 513.732.7499.