News

Print
Press Enter to show all options, press Tab go to next option

Syringe Exchange Program to Open in Kings County

Post Date:03/31/2017 2:02 PM

KCDPH Letterhead

Syringe Exchange Program to Open in Kings County

 

For Immediate Release

Friday, March 31, 2017

CONTACT: Debbie Grice, Deputy Health Director, Nursing & Community Services

            (559) 584-1401

Hanford - The Kings County Health Department is pleased to announce that the California Department of Public Health – Office of AIDS has approved a Syringe Exchange Program for Kings County.  The needle exchange, which is free, will be available beginning Tuesday, April 4, at the Kings County Health Department, 330 Campus Drive, Hanford and at the outlying Public Health Clinics in Avenal and Corcoran later in the month.  Services that will be provided directly by the needle exchange include:

  • HIV and/or Hepatitis screening;
  • Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B vaccinations;
  • Screening for sexually transmitted infection;
  • Education in viral hepatitis prevention education and safe injection practices; and
  • Education on reduction of sexual risk behaviors.

Referral services will be provided that include: housing services for the homeless, or victims of domestic violence, and referrals to substance abuse and mental health services.

According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 2002-2013, “Heroin use has increased more than 60% (114% in whites) in recent years.  The heroin and prescription opioid epidemics could lead to new HIV outbreaks.”  This program is being introduced to address multiple issues related to risk of transmission of HIV and other bloodborne illnesses.  At the community level, it will decrease the number of contaminated needles left in parks, restrooms and other public places.  For law enforcement and other first responders, it will decrease the risk of accidental needle stick injury while performing their jobs.  For the individual who is using needles, it provides an opportunity for helping that person find assistance with their addiction and other medical help that they would not look for on their own. 

Multiple studies have shown that syringe exchange programs do not encourage or lead to increased drug use.  This program follows the principles of harm reduction by choosing to minimize its harmful effects of drug use rather than ignore or condemn them, and by providing services to people who use drugs in order to assist them in reducing harm while in the cycle of addiction.

Needle Exchange Dates and Locations:

  • Kings County Health Department, 330 Campus Dr., Hanford, CA

    Every Tuesday beginning April 4th from 2:30 pm to 4:30 pm

  • Avenal Health Clinic, 590 Skyline Avenue, Avenal, CA
    Every 3rd Tuesday beginning April 18th from 11:00 am to 12:00 pm

  • Corcoran Health Clinic, 1002 Dairy Avenue, Corcoran, CA
    Every 4th Tuesday beginning April 25th from 11:00 am to 12:00 pm

 

For more information contact the Kings County Health Department Syringe Exchange Program at (559) 852-2653.