Needle Exchange Scheme

The Needle Exchange Scheme aims to provide clean injecting equipment to intravenous drug users in the community. Pharmacies participating in the scheme provide a range of needles and syringes to intravenous drug users free of charge. Sharps bins are also provided for safe disposal of used equipment. Clients are strongly encouraged to return used injecting equipment to the pharmacy to be disposed of safely.

The overall objectives of the scheme are:
•to improve access to clean injecting equipment
•to provide access points for the safe disposal of used injecting equipment, reducing the number of sharps discarded unsafely in the community
•to reduce the risk associated with intravenous drug use, particularly blood borne viruses such as HIV and Hepatitis
•to reduce the risk of infection, injury and overdose caused by injecting
•to provide information on drug misuse, HIV/AIDS and related disease
•to provide information to support safer drug use and safer sex
•to provide information and referral to existing services useful to the intravenous drug user