If you are using drugs that you inject, snort or inhale using a glass stem, you need to use equipment that is clean and has not been used by someone else.
When you use someone else’s needle, straw or stem, there is a chance you could get an infection like HIV, Hepatitis B or Hepatitis C. These infections are spread through blood and even if you cannot see any blood, there can still be some there.
How to protect yourself
Single use, no sharing! Do NOT re-use your gear, do NOT share your gear and do NOT use someone else’s gear.
The NWHU has needle exchange programs that can give you the stuff you need to stay safe. It is confidential and there in no limit on how much you can take. The staff working at the program will not judge you - they are there to help keep you healthy.
What does the needle exchange program have?
- Needles and syringes for vein injections.
- Needles and syringes for muscle injections (steroids).
- Cookers, spoons.
- Tourniquets (ties).
- Ascorbic Acid (to help break down some drugs).
- Water – sterile for injection.
- Wipes – to use before you inject.
- Sharps containers and sharps disposal – so you do not leave your needles on the ground, which puts others at risk. (small black ones that fit in a pocket, and larger ones too).
- Inhalation kits – glass stems, screens, chopsticks, wipes and lip balm.
- Snorting kits – straws.
We also have other things to help keep you healthy:
- Free condoms.
- Resources on safer drug use.
- Referral information.
If you would like more information you can call your local NWHU or come to one of our exchange sites.