Syringe/Needle Exchange Program

Hours and Locations of Syringe/Needle Exchange Programs in the Lake Cumberland Area

Adair County Health Department
Monday – Friday During Regular Business Hours
801 Westlake Drive,
Columbia, KY 42728
(270) 384-2286 or (800) 928-4416

McCreary County Health Department
Opening Soon

Pulaski County Health Department
Opening Soon

Russell County Health Department
Monday – Friday During Regular Business Hours
211 Fruit of the Loom Drive,
Jamestown, KY 42629
(270) 343-2181 or (800) 928-4416

How are we doing?

How will the program operate?

LCDHD‘s Harm Reduction Syringe Exchange Program (HRSEP) has been modeled after successful programs throughout the country. It uses a cost-effective approach with best practices for disease prevention by utilizing existing staff and health centers already set up for providing services to this population. The program is open to anyone who uses injection drugs. Exchange of needles and rapid HIV testing will be provided anonymously; however, other health services, such as blood tests for hepatitis C, HIV, STD’s , pregnancy tests, and immunizations will be provided confidentially.

  • The program will operate during regular business hours.
  • Syringe and equipment provided through the HRSEP is free of charge to the participant. Clinical services beyond the exchange of equipment and rapid testing for Hepatitis C and HIV may be billed per the regular sliding scale fee or to a third party payor if participant is enrolled. No participant will be turned away for inability to pay.
  • All participants are required to agree to a list of Participant Rights and Responsibilities. Items covered by this policy include safely disposing of contaminated equipment and refraining from drug use on Health Department property. Violations can result in dismissal from the program.
  • Specially trained Health Department staff will operate the program, with a nurse serving as the primary provider. If client volume for syringe access is higher, additional staff can be assigned to assist with the program. If client volume is low, the nurse can provide other public health services.
  • Participants in the HRSEP will be offered a variety of referrals for other health and social services, including:
  • Treatment for a substance use disorder
  • Mental health care
  • Other Health Department programs

7 Things to Know about LCDHD’s HRSEP

  1. Reflects the Health Department’s duty to stop the spread of infectious diseases required by state law.
  2. Is a highly effective public health intervention that helps stops the spread of Hepatitis B, C, and HIV.
  3. Provides access and referrals to health care, including counseling, testing and treatment.
  4. Increases likelihood of entering treatment for a substance use disorder.
  5. Helps remove dirty needles from public spaces, thus reducing the public’s risk of accidental needlesticks.
  6. Cost effective with a 1:7 return on investment.
  7. Important component of LCDHD’s overall response to the heroin epidemic

How will the effectiveness be evaluated?

As with any new program, the Health Department will closely evaluate the HRSEP to ensure the program is working and to drive any changes that need to be made. Data will be shared with the District Board of Health as well as other community partners. Data can be found here: Syringe Exchange Performance.  Data to be tracked:

  • Number of unduplicated participants
  • Zip code of participants
  • Birth year of participants
  • Gender of participants
  • Frequency of injected drug use
  • Number of needles received and issued
  • Number of anonymous HIV tests given and rate of positivity
  • Number of confidential tests for STD’s, repeat HIV tests, Hep C tests and pregnancy tests as well as rates of positivity for each Number and types of vaccines given
  • Number of participants entering treatment for substance abuse disorders
  • Number of referrals to other community resources.

Some facts:

Research about syringe exchange programs has found these programs:

  • Do reduce the spread of blood-borne disease like HIV, Hepatitis B and C, etc.
  • Do help people get on the path to drug treatment.
  • Do NOT encourage individuals to begin using drugs.
  • Do NOT increase drug use among existing users.
  • Do NOT increase crime in neighborhoods in which they operate.
  • Learn more: Kentucky Department for Public Health: Syringe Exchange.

What are the goals of the Syringe/Needle Exchange Program?

  • To prevent the spread of Hepatitis C and HIV explained as follows by Dr. Miles, long time member of the Russell County Board of Health.

  • To decrease the cost to society for treating Hepatitis C and HIV.

  • To get dirty (used) needles out of the ditches, and parks, and off the roadsides and disposed of properly; and, to recommend referrals for treatment.