Needle Exchange

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South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust (SLaM) Needle and Syringe Exchange Scheme provides injecting drug users access to sterile needles, syringes and other equipment and the safe disposal of used needles and syringes.

The service promotes health protection for intravenous drug users and to reduce the risk of passing on infections to others.  However, needle exchange is not just for people who inject Heroin, Crack or Amphetamine. The service is also for those who use or are about to start using

  • Steroids or other performance or image enhancing drugs (PIEDs) 
  • Psychoactive compounds, chemicals, plants or medicines
  • Methamphetamine, Ketamine or Medicines

Project based needle exchange staff provide advice & information on issues related to these substances. Simply let them know what you’re using and they’ll ensure you get the right equipment. They’ll also be happy to discuss your injecting practice and any concerns or questions you may have in relation to it. (Further information and advice is available. See the Links)

Safer Injecting Advice:

To avoid the health risks associated with taking drugs, it is safer not to inject or to use alternative methods of taking drugs.  However, some people are not in this position so the following advice is important

  • We strongly advise all injectors to seek professional advice throughout the time you are injecting.
  • In-depth safer injecting and harm reduction information and advice is available from all project based sites (See site list)
  • Wash your hands before preparing works.
  • Always use a new, sterile needle and equipment.
  • Never share any equipment or works.
  • Find a hygienic area to prepare.
  • Cleanse the part of your body where you are going to inject.

Needle Exchange Services:

Needle and syringe exchange is available through selected pharmacies and drug treatment agencies displaying the needle exchange logo (above).

Pharmacy Needle Exchanges

  • can issue basic needle and syringe packs and accept used needles and syringes. (See syringe pack contents list)

Agency-based Needle Exchanges 

  • offer a wider range of equipment in addition to further harm reduction advice, testing for blood-borne viruses (BBVs) and inoculation for hepatitis A and B.  There is also the opportunity to discuss treatment options.

Some basic and anonymous details will be asked for on the first visit. There will be an expectation for you to use the same information at every exchange. 

The SLaM Needle Exchange Scheme is a leading specialist provider of free hypodermic syringes, needles and other equipment for non medical injections including licit and illicit substances

Harm reduction is our primary, frontline response to reducing the potential harms associated with active drug use, particularly injecting drug use, including: BBVs, overdose, bacterial infections, etc.

Harm reduction services such as needle and syringe exchanges play a part in referring people to appropriate drug treatment programs and linking them with other health and social services.

One of the main reasons why harm reduction services are so effective in supporting people in this way is due to the core principles that sit at the very heart of the concept.

These include:

  • It meets people where they are, not where we might like them to be;
  • It is tailored to the needs of the individual;
  • It is non-judgmental in its approach; and is
  • Free at the point of access…

Needle Exchange Equipment 

Available from Pharmacies

  • 1ml Harm Reduction Pack
  • 2ml Harm Reduction Pack
  • Steroid Pack

Available from Projects

  • BD 1ml Insulin Syringes
  • BD 0.5ml Insulin Syringes
  • Syringe 1ml
  • Syringe 2ml
  • Syringe 5ml
  • Syringe 10ml
  • Needle Grey 27g x 0.5"
  • Needle Brown 26g x 0.5"
  • Needle Orange 25g x 5/8"
  • Needle Orange 25g x 1.0"
  • Needle Blue 23g x 1.0"
  • Needle Blue 23g x 1.25"
  • Needle Green 21g x 1.5"
  • Needle Black 22g x 1.5"
  • Needle Pink Drawing Up 18g x 1.5"
  • Medicated Swabs
  • Sharps Bin 0.45 litre
  • Sharps Bin 4 litre
  • Citirc Acid Sachets
  • Vitamin C Sachets
  • Spoons

Pack Contents   Safer Injecting & Harm Reduction Advice

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