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.

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.

Tips for Talking to Congress

Legislators appreciate hearing from their constituents, and they are elected to represent our views. Always give your legislator your name, address, and telephone number so that they know you are one of their constituents. Be sure to include this information whether you visit in person, call, or write.

When you contact your legislators, a short sentence or two about why you personally support or oppose a certain proposal is fine. 

Most importantly, always be courteous and clear when communicating with your legislators. Remember, legislators are people, too!

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