Syringe Access

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.

New Jersey Assembly Health and Senior Services Committee to Vote on Sterile Syringe Access Legislation to Prevent the Spread of HIV/AIDS

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.

Tony Newman 646-335-5384 or Roseanne Scotti 609-610-8243

Balancing Access and Safety: Meeting the Challenge of Blood Borne Viruses in Prison

July 19, 2011
Michael Moore, CEO, Public Health Association of Australia, and Melanie Walker, Deputy CEO, Public Health Association of Australia
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.

CA Governor Jerry Brown Signs Two Life Saving Bills to Prevent HIV and Hepatitis

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. 


Contact: Tony Newman (646) 335-5384
Laura Thomas (415) 283-6366

Carole's Story

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.

Read Carole's story.

Urge CA Governor to Reform Drug Policy

It’s up to Governor Brown in CA to sign life-saving legislation and he needs to hear from you.

Harm Reduction Coalition: Resources

August 25, 2011
Harm Reduction Coalition

This is a collection of nationwide resources for harm reduction services, with an emphasis on syringe exchange.

Report of the Global Commission on Drug Policy

June 2, 2011
Global Commission on Drug Policy

The Global Commission, whose members include Kofi Annan and four former presidents, calls the drug war a failure and advocates a paradigm shift in global drug policy. The commission's bold recommendations include encouraging governments to experiment with legalization of drugs, particularly marijuana; putting an end to drug policies being driven by ideology and politics; and directing resources away from arresting and incarcerating so many people for drug law violations.

Federal Activist Toolkit

We can make a powerful impact by urging our members of Congress to end failed drug war policies. They care what their constituents have to say.
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