Needle and Syringe Program – NSP: Syringe Vending Machines (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 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.

Syringe Vending Machines

Syringe Vending Machines (SVMs) are self-contained units that dispense injecting equipment mostly for a small fee. SVMs operate after NSP service hours or provide 24-hour access to injecting equipment.

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

In the ACT, SVMs contain 4 packs only (sterile needles, syringes, swabs, water, spoons and cotton wool within a safe disposal container), at a cost of $2 per pack.

Email address: nsp@directionshealth.com
Website: www.directionshealth.com
Parent organisation: Directions Health Services

Access Information

List of services providing Syringe Vending Machines and their location

Belconnen Health Centre
Swanson St & Belconnen Way, Belconnen ACT 2617
Ph: (02) 6207 9977

Civic Health Centre
1 Moore St, Canberra City ACT 2600
Ph: (02) 6207 9977

Phillip Health Centre
Cnr Corrina & Keltie St, Woden ACT 2606
Ph: (02) 6207 9977

Gungahlin Health Centre
43 Hibberson St, Gungahlin ACT 2912
Ph: (02) 6255 0888

Tuggeranong Health Centre
Ankettel St, Tuggeranong ACT 2900
Ph: (02) 6207 9977

Winnunga Nimmityjah Aboriginal Health Service
63 Boolimba Cres, Narrabundah ACT 2604
Ph: (02) 6284 6222

Please note Syringe Vending Machines may be out of order from time to time. Directions will do its utmost to ensure vending machines are repaired as quickly as possible. For any additional information on this service please call (02) 6132 4900.

Other Information

Needle and Syringe – Collection and Disposal

Collection

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.

Disposal

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

Last Update on October 2017