Syringe Access Program
The City of Racine Public Health Department Clinic operates a Syringe Access Program (SAP) for residents of Racine and surrounding communities.
The SAP provides new, sterile syringes in exchange for used syringes in an effort to help reduce the spread of HIV, Hepatitis C, and other blood-borne infections. Program participants are offered information on drug treatment options and other health care. Other services include: testing for infections to which drug users are prone; education about harms associated with drug use and how to minimize them; and safe disposal methods for contaminated equipment.
Narcan (naloxone) is an emergency treatment that can be administered for a suspected opioid overdose. It is available at no cost for clients, family members, friends, or professionals.
Hours: Monday - Friday, 8:00 am - 4:30 pm
Location: Public Health Department Clinic - Room 4 (Lower Level), Racine City Hall
Call 262-636-9431 for more information.
Benefits of Syringe Access Programs:
1. They reduce blood-borne diseases in our communities, without increasing the rate of drug use. Several studies have shown compelling evidence that syringe access programs decrease HIV and Hepatitis transmission, but do not increase injection drug use.1
2. Preventing HIV injection in people who inject drugs also prevents HIV in women and newborn children. Many women are at risk for HIV because of their own injection drug use or because they are sexual partners of injection drug users.
3. By working with people who inject drugs, help can be provided to get them into drug treatment programs.
4. Access programs promote a pragmatic, public health-driven approach to substance abuse and addiction, while also respecting, valuing, and prioritizing the human rights and dignity of people who use drugs.
5. The Health Department safely disposes of all contaminated syringes turned in at the exchange. This reduces the number of discarded syringes in our bus stops, yards, parks, and playgrounds, and on our sidewalks and beaches. The goal is to get used syringes out of circulation as quickly as possible. The longer a syringe remains in circulation, the more opportunities there are for that syringe to pass on a blood-borne disease.
1. Source: Wodak A, Cooney A (2006). Do Needle Syringe Programs Reduce HIV Infection Among Injecting Drug Users: A Comprehensive Review of the International Evidence. Journal of Substance Use & Misuse, 41:777-813.
Are programs of this type successful?
Yes. HIV infection has been shown to increase nearly 6% annually, on average, in cities that do not have a syringe access program. In contrast, HIV declined approximately 6% annually among PWID in cities that offer exchange programs.2
2. Source: Hurley, SF, Jolley, DJ, Kalidor, JM (1997). Effectiveness of needle-exchange programmes for prevention of HIV infection. The Lancet, 348:987-991.
Who pays for the program?
Supplies for the Public Health Department Syringe Access Program are provided by Vivent Health, which operates clinics throughout Wisconsin and other states.
What other health services are available?
- Disposal of Used Syringes: Used or old syringes should be brought to the program in a puncture-resistant container, such as a coffee can or laundry detergent container.
- HIV Testing: Anonymous and Confidential. All tests are done on a walk-in basis when staff are available. Rapid tests, with results available in 20 minutes, and conventional (blood draw) tests, with results in approximately 1 week, are available.
- Hepatitis C Testing: Involves drawing blood; results provided in approximately 1 week.
- Hepatitis A and B Vaccinations
- Resources and Referrals for other community agencies.
Information about low-cost or free syringes for diabetics
Diabetic Syringe Information
Overdose Prevention Program (Narcan/Naloxone)
An Overdose Prevention Program is also available, which provides Narcan (naloxone) through a Wisconsin Department of Health Services program.
- Narcan is an emergency treatment that can be administered for a suspected opioid overdose.
- Narcan blocks the effects of opioids and reverses an opioid overdose.
- In Wisconsin, people can legally obtain Narcan from local agencies and pharmacies to use in case of an opioid overdose.
- The Public Health Department requires program participants view an educational video and review the proper administration of Narcan.
- The Public Health Department encourages all opioid users and their friends and family to have a supply of Narcan available to use in case of an opioid overdose.
Drug and Alcohol-Related Deaths & Narcan/Naloxone Use
Racine County Drug and Alcohol-Related Deaths & Narcan Use: 2014-2016