FARGO, N.D. (AP) — Health officials say Fargo's first needle exchange program could be operational within a month.

The Fargo/Cass Public Health Department is administering the program aimed at providing addicts not only with clean needles, but with resources for treatment and health care.

The department's substance abuse prevention coordinator, Robyn Litke Sall, tells KFGO there has been an alarming increase in diseases such as Hepatitis C in the last five years. And, that it's largely attributed to the use of dirty needles by drug addicts.

The exchange program will operate in a vacant, city-owned building. State approval is pending.

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Information from: KFGO-AM, http://www.kfgo.com