Injection drug use accounts for approximately 30% of all HIV/AIDS cases in western Massachusetts, compared to 12% in Massachusetts. Needle exchange is a harm reduction method that aims to deter the harmful consequences of contaminated injection equipment by offering sterile needles and disposing used ones.
Tapestry Health established the Northampton Needle Exchange in 1995 and the Holyoke Needle Exchange in 2012, the only of their kind in western Massachusetts and among five statewide. We provide sterile needles to injection drug users in order to discourage reuse and to curb transmission of HIV and hepatitis C. We also give trainings on naloxone, a drug that counters opioid overdose.
Our Needle Exchange Program has reached injection drug users and reduced risk behaviors through effective education and counseling around safer injection practices. We understand that addiction is a complicated disease, and offer judgment-free counseling; when a client decides to deal with a drug problem, we provide assistance in getting help for that person. Please call (413) 586-0310 or (413) 315-3732 for more information.
- Sterile syringes
- Safe syringe disposal
- HIV counseling and testing
- STI and hepatitis C screening
- Overdose prevention/naloxone training
- Addiction counseling
- Individual and group harm reduction education
- Provision of safer injection and safer sex supplies
- Hepatitis A and B vaccinations
- Flu shots
- Supported referrals to substance abuse treatment and programs