PRINCETON, WV (AP) – A southern West Virginia health department has stopped its needle exchange program due to strict requirements under a new state law.

The Bluefield Daily Telegraph reports the Mercer County Health Department voted Wednesday to discontinue its program.

Health Department Administrator Roger Topping told board members that the new regulations are so strict that compliance is not possible. He noted almost 50 requirements that had to be approved for a license to offer a harm reduction program that includes a needle exchange.

Health officials had begun a needle exchange in 2019 in order to prevent the spread of diseases like Hepatitis C and HIV.