Naloxone Available through Syringe Exchange Programs
The Division of Public Health maintains a list of active syringe exchange programs in the state. Please contact your local program to learn about naloxone access through syringe exchanges. More information about syringe exchange in North Carolina is available through the NC Safer Syringe Initiative.
As of July 11, 2016, North Carolina (G.S. 90-113.27) allows for the legal establishment of syringe exchange programs. Syringe exchange programs seek to reduce the risks associated with injection drug use. Without access to new syringes and injection supplies, people may reuse or share them, leading to transmission of bloodborne diseases like hepatitis C and HIV. Between 2007 and 2016, reported acute hepatitis C cases increased by more than 900% in North Carolina.
Syringe exchange programs in North Carolina are required to provide the following services:
- Syringe disposal
- Distribution of new syringes and injection supplies at no cost
- Education materials on prevention of disease transmission, overdose, and substance use disorder; and treatment options, including medication-assisted therapy and referrals
- Naloxone distribution and training, or referrals to these services
All syringe exchange programs offer overdose rescue kits (intramuscular or intranasal naloxone, directions for use) or referrals to sources for naloxone. Many programs provide naloxone kits free of charge to people who use drugs, their friends and family, and other people who may be able to quickly respond in the event of an overdose.