FLORENCE-- New numbers show that Kentucky is now ranked fith when it comes to overdose deaths. 

And as the opioid epidemic makes its mark in the Commonwealth, it is bringing not only death and destruction, but an increase in infectious diseases, including HIV, Hepatitis A and Hepatitis C.

in 2015, lawmakers started working on a plan to bring a program for a syringe exchange to different regions. 

Northern Kentucky Health was one of the first groups to start a program, two and a half years ago. 

Since then, the program has epanded to include two mobile units as well as the free-standing clinic. 

Along with needle exchanges, people are able to get vaccinations and disease and pregnancy testing at the clinic. Northern Kentucky Health also has people on hand should patients come in looking for help with their addiction. 

Northern Kentucky Health says about a quarter of the people they see have come back in looking for help with treatment. 


December 1 is World Aids Day. For that, several places are offering free HIV testing. To find a location, click here.