The establishment of needle exchange schemes across the UK in the 1980’s is widely regarded as one of our most successful health promotion and harm reduction initiatives.
Needle exchange is vital part of the work we do to help reduce the harms caused by substance use. It’s a discreet and confidential space where service users can get support and advice, as well as clean and safe equipment.
Needle exchange services are always confidential. Staff will ask some basic information which will be entered into an anonymised database called NEO. This information is used to identify patterns or trends of use and equipment used, as well as information on referral to other services. Names or other identifiable information will never be shared.
Where are our needle exchanges?
Barod provides needle exchange services during normal working hours in its bases at:
- Merthyr Tydfil
- Ebbw Vale
- Dyfed Harm Reduction Bus
We clearly display the addresses of pharmacies offering needle exchange on the doors of our services.
What do we supply in our needle exchange?
We provide a full range of leaflets and equipment including:
- Vitamin C sachets
- Citric sachets
- Needles and barrels in a range of sizes
- Written resources / information leaflets including those aimed at users of Performance and Image Enhancing Drugs (IPEDS)
- Foil to encourage injecting heroin users to change their route of administration to smoking
- Water ampoules
- Sharps bins for safe disposal of all equipment
Needle exchange provides an opportunity for service users who may not be in contact with any other services to engage directly with specialist drugs workers on pressing issues concerning their injecting habits, injecting sites and general health.
All staff delivering needle exchange services are trained and competent in providing safer injecting advice and use the opportunity to engage with injecting drug users. We also encourage the safe return of used equipment and provide sharps bins to each individual using the needle exchange.
Barod is a member of the Welsh Needle Exchange Forum. We work in line with evidence based practice including updated NICE guidelines, Welsh Government’s treatment framework and our in-house Needle Exchange Policy.
Check out our Facebook Live video below, taking you on a tour of one of our needle exchanges