Needle and syringe programs: your questions answered

What services do needle and syringe programs offer?

Page last updated: 2005

Needle and Syringe Programs provide injecting equipment, education and information on reducing drug use and referral to drug treatment, medical care and legal and social services. Staff can also provide condoms and safe sex education.

Equipment supplied at Needle and Syringe Programs includes needles and syringes, swabs, vials of sterile water and 'sharps bins' for the safe disposal of used injecting equipment. Needle and Syringe Programs are also an important point for collection of used injecting equipment.

Needle and Syringe Programs provide support services to families of people who inject drugs.

Needle and Syringe Programs do not supply drugs or allow people to inject drugs on the premises.

  • Needle and Syringe Programs provide injecting equipment, education and information on reducing drug use and referral to drug treatment, medical care and legal and social services.

  • Needle and Syringe Programs are an important point for collection of used injecting equipment.

  • Needle and Syringe Programs provide support services to families of people who inject drugs.

Tony Trimingham, Executive Officer, Family Drug Support:

The families of people who inject drugs would prefer that they did not. However, families coping with drug use have realised this is not always possible in the short term. Family members of drug users see first hand the problems associated with drugs. Infection from blood borne diseases is a real threat to the health of injecting drug users, which the Needle and Syringe Program helps to reduce. Family Drug Support assists many families, and most that we talk to really appreciate the value and necessity of the Needle and Syringe Program. Frequently, people report the positive way family members are treated by Needle and Syringe Program workers when they ask for advice or referral to other services. Needle and Syringe Programs are often a stepping stone to very positive outcomes. Family Drug Support is pleased to endorse this vital public health and community safety initiative.