Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Syringe Access Programs are Good Public Health


by Andrés Guerrero

It can seem a bit counter-intuitive, right? Some people think, “If you give people needles you are encouraging them to shoot up.” But the truth of the matter is that some people will inject drugs no matter what- that’s why it’s called an addiction. If they use syringes that are dirty, they can put themselves at risk of things like HIV and viral hepatitis. They also can unknowingly pass these infections to others like their friends, families and spouses.  The scientific evidence has consistently shown that syringe access programs (formerly called syringe exchange programs) provide a much needed link to the drug using community so they can access services such as HIV and hepatitis testing, healthcare referrals, educational information and drug treatment, while at the same  time they do NOT increase drug use.


They also serve as a safe way to dispose of used syringes so that used and possibly contaminated syringes don’t end up in parks or alleys where they can potentially harm others. The point of syringe access programs is not just to give away syringes. They also provide much needed disease prevention services to some of the most difficult to reach and most at risk populations.  If you or someone you know needs these types of services, contact one of these locations for more information.  Take care of yourself. You deserve to be healthy.




Syringe Access Programs in Colorado 


Boulder County Public Health
3482 Broadway Boulder, CO                                 (303) 413-7500
529 Coffman Suite 200 Longmont, CO                   (303) 413-7500
3180 Airport Rd. Boulder, CO                           (303) 441-1281

Boulder County AIDS Project
2118 14th St Boulder, CO                                    (303) 444-6121

Denver Access Point
2490 W 26th Ave Suite 300A Denver, CO              (303) 837-1501

Harm Reduction Action Center
733 Santa Fe Drive Denver, CO                            (303) 572-7800

Northern Colorado AIDS Project
400 Remington Suite 100 Fort Collins, CO             (970) 484-4469

Western Colorado AIDS Project
805 Main St. Grand Junction, CO                          (970) 243-2437

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