In the Needle Exchange

Needle exchange programmes play a vital role in helping to reduce the harm associated with injecting drug use, including the risk of overdose.

They provide access to clean a safe injecting equipment to anyone who needs it as well as advice and alternatives for safer ways to consume drugs.

Unlike lots of services in your community, a needle exchange is one you might never have a need to visit. What does a a trip to a needle exchange at Project 6 look like?


1ml needle, Vitamin C, Disposable spoons, Naloxone, Foil, Sharps bin

Why we have needle exchanges

1ml needle

1 millimetre syringe

A thin barrel syringe with capacity for 1ml of liquid with a fixed needle. We encourage people to use as little of their substance as they need. The thin barrel also helps avoid creating ‘dead space’ where air can get inadvertently injected.

Removing the need to share or reuse needles helps prevent the spread of blood-born viruses. Even after one use the needle begins to blunt so using fresh pins helps project veins.

Syringes are available in different colours to help people identify their equipment, particularly if they are using in a shared space

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Vitamin C

strip of vitamin c sachets

Vitamin C is used when preparing drugs for injection. This helps to dissolve the substance so it can be injected more easily and safely. We offer this as a less acidic alternative to citric acid.

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Disposable spoons

small metal disposable spoon

To prepare substances for injecting, they added to a small amount of water and ideally vitamin C or citric acid, then heated. This is often done using a spoon, sometimes known as ‘pots’ or ‘pans’. We provide sterile, one-use disposable spoons for people to use.

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Naloxone is a medicine that rapidly reverses an opioid overdose. It is an opioid antagonist. This means that it attaches to opioid receptors and reverses and blocks the effects of other opioids. Naloxone can quickly restore normal breathing to a person if their breathing has slowed or stopped because of an opioid overdose.

Naloxone comes as either injectable dose or nasal spray. Designed to be used whilst still calling an ambulance and putting the person into the recovery position. We train people in the correct use of Naloxone which helps have lives from preventable overdose deaths.

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Pack of 50 sheets of aluminium foil

We often encourage people to smoke, instead of injecting their drugs. This massively reduces the risk of overdose. Substances are placed on the foil, heated from underneath and inhaled using some form of pipe. The foil we give out, as appose to kitchen foil, is rolled without lubricating oil so there is no smoke to be burnt off before use.

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Sharps bin

Provides a safe way to dispose and store used paraphernalia. It helps avoid accidental needle stick injures and risk of spreading blood-born viruses both for adults and children. Once used, we the bins for safe disposal

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