Photo Story: What to Expect at a Syringe Exchange

 

Those who inject drugs are at risk for Hepatitis A and C, HIV, among other infectious diseases. To help prevent these diseases from spreading, syringe exchange services are increasing in our communities. We toured The Exchange Project in Hamilton County to learn more about the process.

When clients arrive at The Exchange Project’s mobile unit, they receive a card and an identification number — no personal information is given.

When clients arrive at The Exchange Project’s mobile unit, they receive a card and an identification number — no personal information is given.

Clients can exchange anywhere from one to 100 syringes on a one-to-one basis. So, if someone brings 34 used syringes, they will receive 34 new ones in exchange.

Clients can exchange anywhere from one to 100 syringes on a one-to-one basis. So, if someone brings 34 used syringes, they will receive 34 new ones in exchange.

After the used syringes are counted and placed in a safe sharps container, clients can choose between long and short needles for their exchange.

After the used syringes are counted and placed in a safe sharps container, clients can choose between long and short needles for their exchange.

Guests can also receive Naloxone (NARCAN) and a demonstration from an Exchange Project staff member on how to administer NARCAN on someone who has overdosed.

Guests can also receive Naloxone (NARCAN) and a demonstration from an Exchange Project staff member on how to administer NARCAN on someone who has overdosed.

Condoms, alcohol wipes and other safety products are also available for guests. Nurses on board provide Hepatitis testing for free, and if a client is seeking treatment, they are referred to a local facility.

Condoms, alcohol wipes and other safety products are also available for guests. Nurses on board provide Hepatitis testing for free, and if a client is seeking treatment, they are referred to a local facility.

Throughout the van, illustrations hang on the walls to educate guests on safer injection. The Exchange Project also offers business cards, brochures and pamphlets for local treatment facilities.

Throughout the van, illustrations hang on the walls to educate guests on safer injection. The Exchange Project also offers business cards, brochures and pamphlets for local treatment facilities.

For more information or to download a copy of The Exchange Project’s schedule, visit  exchangeproject@hamilton-co.org  or call (513) 316-7725.

For more information or to download a copy of The Exchange Project’s schedule, visit exchangeproject@hamilton-co.org or call (513) 316-7725.

Photos by Salvador Mendoza. Reporting by Emma Jenkins.