Public health officials fear that removing the item from the kits may lead to more outbreaks of hepatitis C and HIV.
Under pressure from community critics and law enforcement, Indiana’s Madison County Board of Health voted to remove “cookers” from harm reduction kits distributed by a local syringe exchange program.
Cookers are metal bowls slightly larger than the size of a quarter. People who inject drugs typically pour powder into them, then add water and apply heat to turn the substance into an injectable solution. It’s a key ingredient in reducing the spread of blood-borne disease, which can be transmitted when people share cookers.