Journal Article: Consequences of Suspending a Syringe Service Program

The Harm Reduction Journal recently published “Understanding the public health consequences of suspending a rural syringe services program: a qualitative study of the experiences of people who inject drugs,” which examines the impact of closing a syringe service program (SSP) in Charleston, West Virginia on the health of people who inject drugs (PWID).

In late 2015, the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department (KCHD) established a SSP, however, community pushback resulted in restrictions on the program which inhibited it from operating in accordance with best practices. Consequently, the SSP was suspended in early 2018. Semi-structured interviews with 27 PWID in the region revealed that the suspension of the SSP resulted in increased risk for bloodborne infections and overdose as a result of increased use of used syringes, less frequent HIV testing, and decreased access to naloxone.

To read the article, visit here.

About Kim Rodgers

Kim Rodgers serves as a Communications Specialist at NACCHO. Her work includes promoting local health departments' best practices, as well as partner tools and resources, in infectious disease and preparedness through NACCHO's communications channels, storytelling, and outreach to various audiences.

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