GRAND FORKS — Grand Forks City Council, which has given a preliminary nod, has taken another another step closer to starting a syringe exchange program. If a final approval is awarded during the City Council's meeting on Monday, Sept. 16, the program could start as early as next month.

As a result, drug users will be able to go to the Public Health Department to exchange a used needle for a clean one. Health staff is aiming to offer addiction services to those who participate. and give a used needle in exchange for a clean one.

Michael Dulitz, the health department’s opioid response project coordinator, said the programs grew faster than anticipated in the other locations.

“They had their initial clients that were OK with being part of the program initially and as it became more established in the community more individuals became OK with coming in,” he said. “Both (the Fargo and Mandan centers) have been open over a year now and in their second year they’ve seen an influx of clients coming in.”

Forum News Service reporter Tess Williams contributed to this report