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Creativity, care and ‘messy’ drug use: A collective history of the early days of peer-led needle exchange in Dunedin, New Zealand


International Journal of Drug Policy, Available online 19 August 2021, 103386, doi.org/10.1016/j.drugpo.2021.103386



USA. As Overdoses Soar, This State’s Largest Needle Exchange Is Being Evicted

Syringe-access sites have been proven to reduce opioid overdoses and curb disease. New Jersey is about to shut down its biggest one. (New York Times, 11.08.2021)


“We're actually more of a likely ally than an unlikely ally”: relationships between syringe services programs and law enforcement. 

Franco, C.Y., Lee-Winn, A.E., Brandspigel, S. et al. 

Harm Reduct J 18, 81 (2021). doi.org/10.1186/s12954-021-00515-2


Injections and infections: understanding syringe service program utilization in a rural state.

Thakarar, K., Sankar, N., Murray, K. et al.

Harm Reduct J 18, 74 (2021). doi.org/10.1186/s12954-021-00524-1


USA. Atlantic City is poised to shut down its syringe exchange — amid warnings of dire public health consequences

Founded after years of high HIV rates in Atlantic City, Oasis was New Jersey’s first needle exchange, and is still its largest, serving some 1,200 clients. (The Philadelphia Inquirer, USA, 12.07.2021)


USA. A CDC Investigation Says West Virginia Needs Needle Exchanges — Which The State Outlawed — To Stop Its HIV Outbreak

A CDC investigation obtained by BuzzFeed News shows “low-barrier” needle exchanges are needed to stop an HIV outbreak in West Virginia. “There's a lot of suffering documented in this,” one expert said. (BuzzFeed, USA, 06.ß7.2021)


Schottland. Vending machines for drug users ‘can save lives’

Innovative projects aim to reduce the number of people dying from drugs in Scotland.

Vending machines providing clean drug-injecting equipment have been installed at homeless shelters in a bid to reduce the number of deaths. (stv News, UK, 21.07.2021)


Factors that influence enrollment in syringe services programs in rural areas: a qualitative study among program clients in Appalachian Kentucky. 

Ibragimov U, Cooper KE, Batty E, Ballard AM, Fadanelli M, Gross SB, Klein EM, Lockard S, Young AM, Cooper HLF. 

Harm Reduct J. 2021 Jun 30;18(1):68. doi: 10.1186/s12954-021-00518-z. PMID: 34193165; PMCID: PMC8244225.


The effect of needle and syringe program and opioid agonist therapy on the risk of HIV, hepatitis B and C virus infection for people who inject drugs in Amsterdam, the Netherlands: findings from an emulated target trial. 

van Santen, D. K., Anders, B., Matser, A., Maher, L., Hickman, M., Lodi, S., and Prins, M. (2021) Addiction, doi.org/10.1111/add.15503. 



NRW. Umfrage zur Abfrage von Einmalspritzen in den Jahren 2018 bis 2020 

50.000 Spritzenpäckchen wurden 2020 zusätzlich mit der doppelten Menge an Spritzen bestückt. (Safer Use NRW, Stand Februar 2021)


Syringe Distribution Programs Can Improve Public Health During the Opioid Overdose Crisis 

Such initiatives can reduce overdose rates and infectious disease, increase use of treatment

Pew Trust, USA, Issue Brief March 2, 2021


USA. Ensuring Access to Clean Needles Can Save Lives, but Legal Barriers Persist

The United States continues to experience an unprecedented level of drug-related harm. While the failure to prevent this harm is most notable in the number of overdose deaths, which are now at their highest level on record, it is evident in other areas as well. Of particular importance from a policy perspective, bloodborne disease infections related to syringe sharing are also on the rise, with recent outbreaks in Kentucky, Massachusetts, and Indiana, among other states. Cases of infective endocarditis, which is caused largely by unsafe injection, are increasing as well. (The Network for Public Health Law, USA, 05.02.2021)


More evidence or stronger political will: exploring the feasibility of needle and syringe programs in Ukrainian prisons. 

Dmitrieva, A., Stepanov, V., Svyrydova, K. et al.

Harm Reduct J 18, 10 (2021). doi.org/10.1186/s12954-020-00459-z


A qualitative study of facilitators and barriers to participate in a needle exchange program for women who inject drugs. 

Värmå Falk, M., Strömdahl, S., Ekström, A.M. et al. 

Harm Reduct J 17, 84 (2020). doi.org/10.1186/s12954-020-00425-9


Overdose Education and Naloxone Distribution Within Syringe Service Programs - United States, 2019. 

Lambdin BH, Bluthenthal RN, Wenger LD, et al. 

MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2020;69(33):1117-1121. Published 2020 Aug 21. doi:10.15585/mmwr.mm6933a2


UK. New needle vending machines installed at Horizon hubs 

Vending machines with sterile drug-use equipment have been installed at two North Yorkshire Horizons hubs to improve access to needle exchange equipment.

The machines, located at Harrogate and Scarborough, are free to access, available now and incredibly simple to use. Users can operate the vending machine with a plastic token given out by hub reception staff. (North Yorkshire Horizons, UK, 13.08.2020)

UK. New needle vending machines installed at Horizon hubs 

Nord-Irland. Another Belfast Needle Exchange Depository Closes Despite an Increase in Demand

The imminent closure of another Needle and Syringe Exchange Scheme (NSES) depository in Belfast brings the number of exchange centres in Northern Ireland down to 20, despite a 13% increase in demand for the service compared to last year. The inflammatory remarks of a DUP MLA and protests from community members over paraphernalia littering signals the hardline response of the city toward its ‘worsening drugs problem.’ (Talking Drugs, UK, 12.08.2020)

Nord-Irland. Another Belfast Needle Exchange Depository Closes Despite an Increase in Demand

Usage of low dead space syringes and association with hepatitis C prevalence amongst people who inject drugs in the UK.

Trickey A., May M.T., Hope V. et al. 
Drug and Alcohol Dependence: 2018, 192, p. 118–124.

Analysis by Findings, UK, Juli 2020


Costs and consequences of the Portuguese needle-exchange program in community pharmacies. 

Borges M, Gouveia M, Fiorentino F, et al. 

Can Pharm J (Ott). 2020;153(3):170-178. Published 2020 May 12. doi:10.1177/1715163520915744


Hospital admissions among people who inject opioids following syringe services program implementation.

Bornstein, K.J., Coye, A.E., St. Onge, J.E. et al.

Harm Reduct J 17, 30 (2020). doi.org/10.1186/s12954-020-00376-1


Examining risk behavior and syringe coverage among people who inject drugs accessing a syringe services program: A latent class analysis.

Bartholomew TS, Tookes HE, Bullock C, Onugha J, Forrest DW, Feaster DJ.

Int J Drug Policy. 2020 Mar 5;78:102716. doi: 10.1016/j.drugpo.2020.102716. 


When people who inject drugs speak: qualitative thematic analysis of the perception of a mobile app for needle exchange programs.

Calvo F, Carbonell X, Rived M, Giralt C.

Adicciones. 2020 Feb 6;0(0):1334. doi: 10.20882/adicciones.1334.


Kanada/British Columbia. Prison needle exchanges driven by security, not health concerns, federal watchdog says in critical report

Few inmates have enrolled in the needle exchange program, according to correctional investigator. (CBC-Kanada, 19.02.2020)


Different environments, different risk behaviours: Consequences of decreased coverage of needle exchange programs in Budapest and Belgrade

Robert Csák, Irena Molnar, Péter Sárosi, Jovana Arsenijević, Bojan Arsenijević

Rightsreporter Foundation, Dezember 2018


Australien. Needle Syringe Program National Minimum Data Collection: National Data Report 2019.

Heard S, Iversen J, Kwon JA and Maher L. 

Sydney: Kirby Institute, UNSW Sydney; 2019.


Politics and Harm Reduction: Four Countries’ Syringe Access Stories

Drug policy varies greatly among European countries, despite common foundations in UN treaties or EU strategies. In this article I’ll review syringe service programs (SSPs) in four East-Central European countries—the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland and Hungary, collectively known as the Visegrád Group—to show how politics impact harm reduction. (Filter, USA, 20.11.2019)


Using Interrupted Time Series Analysis to Measure the Impact of Legalized Syringe Exchange on HIV Diagnoses in Baltimore and Philadelphia

Ruiz, Monica S. PhD, MPHa; O'Rourke, Allison MPHb; Allen, Sean T. DrPH, MPHc; Holtgrave, David R. PhDc; Metzger, David PhDd,e; Benitez, Jose MSWf; Brady, Kathleen A. MDg; Chaulk, C. Patrick MD, MPHh; Wen, Leana S. MDi

JAIDS Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes: December 1, 2019 - Volume 82 - Issue - p S148–S154, doi: 10.1097/QAI.0000000000002176


Availability of HIV and HCV On-Site Testing and Treatment at Syringe Service Programs in the United States.

Behrends CN, Nugent AV, Des Jarlais DC, Frimpong JA, Perlman DC, Schackman BR.

J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2018 Oct 1;79(2):e76-e78. doi: 10.1097/QAI.0000000000001792. 


I could take the judgment if you could just provide the service: non-prescription syringe purchase experience at Arizona pharmacies, 2018.

Meyerson BE, Lawrence CA, Cope SD, Levin S, Thomas C, Eldridge LA, Coles HB, Vadiei N, Kennedy A.

Harm Reduct J. 2019 Sep 18;16(1):57. doi: 10.1186/s12954-019-0327-1.


Survey of Southern Wisconsin Needle Exchange Clients Regarding Opioid Overdose and Naloxone Use.

Baltes A, Devo B, Kaiser M, Birstler J, Brown RT.

WMJ. 2019 Jul;118(2):84-87. PMID: 31532934