Syringe services programs
- Community-based programs that provide access to sterile needles, syringes, and other injection equipment free of cost to people who inject drugs
- Promote safe disposal of used equipment
- Often provide people who inject drugs with other supporting services (overdose risk education, condoms, naloxone, vaccinations, etc.)
- SSPs vary by size, scope, geographic location, and setting
Strength of evidence
Evidence level: Proven (highest tier)
Proven (highest tier)
Ranked as having the highest level of evidence by County Health Rankings and Roadmaps
Outcomes and impact
- Reduced drug use and overdose
- Improved neighborhood safety
- Reduced HIV infection
- Reduced injection risk behavior
Keys to successful implementation
- Note: This content is under review
- Syringe services programs are a critical component of broader comprehensive harm reduction approaches, which should also offer counseling, counteracting risky behaviors like unprotected sex, referrals to medical professionals, and expanded access to health care.
- Partnerships with counseling centers and educational resource providers can enable greater access to these services.
- Syringe service providers should be trained to interact safely and respectfully with patients. Partnerships with law enforcement can aid in this training.
- Stigma is one of the primary barriers to individuals seeking syringe services. Reducing stigma around utilization of these services can help increase participation.