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:
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 SMVs may be out of order from time to time. Directions will do it’s utmost to ensure vending machine are repaired as quickly as possible.

Other Information

Needle and Syringe Disposal

If you find a needle or syringe (also called a sharp) in a public place or on your private property, call the SHARPS Hotline on 13 22 81, who will arrange for its collection and disposal.

If you find a sharp, do not touch it and, if possible, stand guard, or mark the area with a hazard sign, particularly if there are children around. Be prepared to give the Sharps Hotline 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.

Source: Canberra Connect, 2011, Needle and Syringe Disposal, ACT Government.

Last Update on September 2016