Increasing sterile syringe access through syringe exchange programs and non-prescription pharmacy sales is essential to reducing syringe sharing among injection drug users and decreasing rates of HIV/AIDS and hepatitis C transmission. Syringe exchange programs have also been shown to increase the safe disposal of used syringes, protecting police officers and the public from accidental exposure to blood-borne diseases. Despite the benefits of these life-saving programs, legal and bureaucratic barriers still prevent injection drug users from accessing clean syringes. The Drug Policy Alliance has led efforts to increase syringe access in several states and is playing a key role in repealing the federal syringe funding ban. We continue to push for reforms that would greatly reduce rates of disease transmission, overdose and other risks associated with injection drug use.
Legislation Passes 8-1-2 with Bi-Partisan Support
Public Health and HIV Prevention Advocates Cheer Passage of Life-Saving Legislation
Trenton—Today, the New Jersey Assembly Health and Senior Services Committee approved a life-saving bill to allow for the sale of limited numbers of syringes in pharmacies without a prescription. The legislation received bi-partisan support, passing by a vote of 8-1-2. New Jersey is one of only two states (the other is Delaware) that completely ban over-the-counter sales of syringes.
Committee Scheduled for Monday, November 21, 10 a.m.; Bill Would Allow Over-the-Counter Sale of Limited Numbers of Syringes in Pharmacies
Public Health, and HIV Prevention Advocates Urge Passage of Life-Saving Legislation
Trenton—On Monday, November 21, the New Jersey Assembly Health and Senior Services Committee will consider life-saving legislation to allow for the sale of a limited numbers of syringes in pharmacies without a prescription. The hearing will be held at 10:00 a.m. in Committee Room 16 on the 4th floor of the State House Annex. New Jersey is one of only two states (the other state is Delaware) that completely ban over-the-counter sale of syringes.
Report for Australian Capital Territory (ACT) Health
This report from the Public Health Association of Australia makes recommendations for a syringe access model at the Alexander Maconochie Centre, an Australian prison with a particular focus on rehabilitation.
Syringes Can Be Purchased at Pharmacies Without Prescription and Areas in Need Can Apply for Syringe Access Programs Through CA Dept. of Public Heath
Most Important HIV Prevention Policy Change in California in a Decade
California Governor Jerry Brown signed two life-saving bills last night that will help prevent new HIV and hepatitis C transmissions in California. The two bills expand access to sterile syringes, which is by far the most effective way to prevent HIV and hepatitis C among people who use drugs. These bills will save lives and save the California taxpayer money.
Carole’s son Martin died from injection-related AIDS when he was 33. Carole knew her son was an injection drug user, and as a nurse she knew he could get HIV from sharing dirty needles. She also knew that in New Jersey there was no legal way for him to get clean needles.
It’s up to Governor Brown in CA to sign life-saving legislation and he needs to hear from you.
This is a collection of nationwide resources for harm reduction services, with an emphasis on syringe exchange.