Sharps/Syringes

Given the increased emphasis in recent years on using harm reduction strategies to stem the overdose crisis, the hurdle posed by state drug paraphernalia laws to establishing syringe services programs or distributing and using testing equipment is not inconspicuous. Accordingly, LAPPA undertook this research project to identify both currently-in-force statutes and recently proposed legislation, throughout all 50 states and the District of Columbia, concerning the treatment of needles, syringes, and testing equipment under state drug paraphernalia laws. ...

The Model Syringe Services Program Act (Act) authorizes the establishment of comprehensive syringe services programs, which are associated with a decrease in bloodborne infectious disease diagnoses as well as the number of needlestick injuries to first responders and others. This Act delineates the required components for syringe services programs operating within a state, including that such programs (1) directly provide, or offer referrals to, expanded services, such as substance use disorder treatment, including medications for addiction treatment, HIV and viral hepatitis testing and treatment services, access to opioid antagonist kits, health care services, and mental health services; (2) reduce needlestick injuries to law enforcement, emergency services personnel, sanitation workers, and members of the community; (3) provide data collection and reporting requirements for syringe services programs; (4) provide immunity from criminal arrest, charge, and prosecution for the possession, distribution, or furnishing of hypodermic needles and syringes and other supplies; (5) provide educational and training materials for members of the community, including law enforcement and other first responders, such as emergency medical services; and (6) provide for funding of syringe services programs....

Syringe services programs (SSP) are harm reduction programs that provide a wide range of services including, but not typically limited to, the provision of new, unused hypodermic needles and syringes and other injection drug use supplies, such as cookers, tourniquets, alcohol wipes, and sharps waste disposal containers, to people who inject drugs. In this summary, readers will find information with respect to SSPs for each state, including citations to applicable statutes and/or regulations, whether the state allows SSPs by statute, whether there are any municipal or county ordinances or regulations in place within the state, program components, miscellaneous provisions, and information on any pending legislation....