What are SSPs (syringe service programs)?
Syringe service programs (SSPs), commonly known as "needle exchange" programs, are community-based programs that provide access to sterile needles and syringes, safe disposal of used injection equipment, and other harm reduction services to people who inject drugs (PWID). SSPs aim to reduce the transmission of blood-borne infections, such as HIV and hepatitis C, and promote overall health and well-being among PWID.
SSPs emerged in the 1980s in response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Over time, they have expanded their services to include overdose prevention education, naloxone distribution, and linkage to addiction treatment and other healthcare services.