KINGWOOD — The Preston County Health Department might not have to contribute funds this year to its partnership with Milan Puskar Health Right in the needle exchange program.

Preston Health Department Administrator V. J. Davis told the Preston board of directors Jan. 9 that Health Right received a grant to cover the funding this year. He said if Preston does have to contribute, it would be about $1,500 to help pay for gasoline for the van to come to Preston and for needles.

Davis said about eight to 10 individuals are currently enrolled in the program in Preston County.

The program is an effort to reduce the spread of Hepatitis B and C and other diseases by providing a needle exchange, education on safe injection practices, Naloxone Kits, medical care, referral to treatment, and counseling and case management for people who inject drugs.