Needle and Syringe Program – NSP: Primary (Directions Health Services)

Needle and Syringe Programs (NSPs) are a public health measure, consistent with ACT Alcohol Tobacco and Other Drug Strategy and the National Drug Strategy’s harm minimisation framework, to reduce the spread of infections such as HIV and hepatitis C among people who inject drugs. They provide a range of services that include provision of sterile injecting equipment, education on safe injecting practices, health information, and referral to drug treatment, medical care and legal and social services. The injecting equipment provided includes needles and syringes, swabs, vials of sterile water, winged infusions, pill filters and ‘sharps bins’ for the safe disposal of used needles and syringes.

Source: Dolan, K. MacDonald, M., Silins, E. & Topp, L. 2005. Needle and syringe programs: A review of the evidence. Canberra: Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing.

Primary NSPs

Primary NSPs are services dedicated to the provision of an extended range of injecting equipment and other services to people who inject drugs. They deliver information and education on issues relating to injecting drug use and health, and make referrals to a range of health and social services, including drug treatment services.

Source: Commonwealth of Australia. 2010. National Needle and Syringe Program National Strategic Framework 2010 – 2014. Commonwealth of Australia, Canberra.

Telephone: Civic (02) 6143 5800; Phillip (02) 6132 4900
Fax: (02) 6249 1036
Mailing Address: PO Box 538, Woden ACT 2606
Email address:
Social media: and
Location: City: City Health Centre, Cnr Moore and Alinga, Canberra City ACT 2600; Phillip: Phillip Health Centre, Corinna St, Woden ACT 2606
Parent organisation: Directions Health Services

Access Information

Maximum waiting time for service: 

  • No waiting time

Target Group:

  • Men, women and couples (including same sex couples)
  • Accepts both ACT and interstate residents
  • This program is accessible to people under 18 years of age

Documentation required:

  • No documentation required

When and how to access:
Operating Hours: Program operating hours are 9am – 5pm (Monday – Friday)*, office hours are 9am – 5pm (Monday – Friday). *Please note that program hours may differ over public holidays
Ways to access: Drop in, no appointment required
Disability access: Accessible doorways
Referrals accepted from: No referral required
Other access information: Service consumers can access when intoxicated
Transport: Transport assistance via bus tickets available
Childcare: No childcare available


  • No assessment required


Program type: Needle and syringe Program

Model: Primary

Philosophical approach: Harm reduction

Specialist focus interventions on drugs of concern: Injectable drugs

Additional program description: Provides sterile injecting equipment, information on safer injecting practices, crisis counselling and referrals, general health information, NSP training for health workers and advice on harm reduction. A crisis support worker is available 9am – 5pm, Monday to Friday at the Civic NSP outlet to provide support regarding housing, legal, treatment and other issues. Staff from the Canberra Alliance for Harm Minimisation and Advocacy are available periodically at the Civic NSP to provide support, information and advocacy.

Aftercare and exit of service

  • Active referrals and support to access other services

Harm reduction initiatives

  • Harm reduction drug education and strategies
  • Opioid overdose prevention and education
  • Provision of sterile injecting equipment

Mental Health

  • Relationships with Mental Health ACT (i.e. Consultation and liaison advice)
  • Staff have mental health training

Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander

  • Staff undertake Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander cultural awareness training

Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD)

  • Staff undertake cultural awareness training

Tobacco Management

  • Smokefree
  • Service has a tobacco management policy


Rent & Fees: Free however daily limits apply

Staff available

  • AOD Worker (Non-clinical)
  • Counsellor
  • Nurse Practitioner (available Thursday mornings 9am – 1pm)

Other Information

Needle and Syringe – Collection and Disposal


If you find a needle or syringe (also called a sharp) in a public place or on your private property, do NOT attempt to move it yourself. Do not touch it and, if possible, stand guard, or mark the area with a hazard sign, particularly if there are children around. Immediately call Access Canberra Contact Centre on 13 22 81 (pressing #1) to provide accurate information on the location of the item. A City Ranger from ACT Government Territory and Municipal Services will come and pick it up as soon as possible.


Transport Canberra and City Services provide sharps disposal containers in all public toilets in urban open space. Sharps containers containing used syringes can be dropped off at the following locations:

Via primary Needle and Syringe Programs

City Health Centre outside the ground floor entrance, to the right of the main door – Corner of Alinga and Moore Streets, Canberra City. Phone: (02) 6143 5800

Phillip Health Centre at the back of the building, opposite Lovett (formerly MLC) Tower – Corner of Keltie and Corinna Streets, Woden. Phone: (02) 6132 4900

Via Emergency Disposal (domestic only) through recycling and waste facilities

Click here for further information relating to the collection and disposal of needle and syringes in the ACT.

Source: Access Canberra, 2017, Needle and syringe collection and disposal, ACT Government

Needle and Syringes  Barrels  Tips  Butterfly  Filters  Packs Other
29G, 1ml  3ml  27G  25G  Blue 0.20 4 packs Alcohol wipes
27G, 1ml  5ml  25G, 1” & 5/8 23G  Red 1.20 8 packs Waters
 Terumo 27G, 1ml 5ml LL  23G    Brown 5.00 Loose spoons
 NIPRO 1ml 10ml  21G    Green 0.80 Tourniquets
  10ml LL 19G       Cotton wool Frozen meals
  20ml          Sandwiches
  20ml LL          

Last Update on October 2017

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