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.