Research

comforting friendsResearch on syringe services programs has shown that they effectively reduce blood borne diseases such as HCV and HIV. Syringe services programs can also increase entry into treatment. The most common opposition to syringe services programs is the belief that they encourage drug use and that providing new, sterile needles to someone who injects drugs just encourages them to continue using. There is no evidence to support this belief. A substance use disorder is a brain disease and a chronic, relapsing condition.  Therefore, denying someone with an active  substance use disorder the means to use drugs doesn't keep the person from continuing to use. A public health approach requires meeting the drug user where s/he is.  Providing the person who injects drugs with services, compassionately and without judgment, is the most humane and effective way to treat people who inject drugs.