Supporters say the legislation would help those addicted to opioids get connected to health care to fight addiction.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A West Virginia bill that would regulate needle exchange programs gained final approval in the legislature Saturday.

Critics have said more stringent requirements for the programs will constrain the number of providers who serve drug users not able to quit the habit.

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Supporters say the legislation would help those addicted to opioids get connected to health care to fight addiction.

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The new rules would take effect amid one of the nation’s highest spikes in HIV cases related to intravenous drug use.

The legislation requires operators to offer an array of health outreach services. Republican Gov. Jim Justice has said he backs the bill.

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