ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A new downtown St. Paul syringe exchange may be a sign that some local governments are embracing once controversial measures in dealing with the country's opioid epidemic.

The syringe exchange in Ramsey County's main clinic opened earlier this month. People who visit the clinic can get clean syringes, as well as a safe injection kit that contains tourniquets and cookers, which are used to dissolve drugs.

The clinic also has HIV and hepatitis C tests, as well as naloxone, a medication used to reverse an opioid overdose, she said.

The clinic aims to be an access point for people who are marginalized and don't have access to traditional medical care and clinics.

The county received a five-year grant to run the syringe exchange service for $125,000 annually.