Research Article

Building a city wide service for exchanging needles and syringes.

BMJ 1993; 306 doi: (Published 22 May 1993) Cite this as: BMJ 1993;306:1394
  1. L Gruer,
  2. J Cameron,
  3. L Elliott
  1. HIV and Addictions Resource Centre, Ruchill Hospital, Glasgow.


    How best can injecting drug misusers obtain clean injecting equipment in a city where drug injecting is widespread? An exchange service for needles and syringes throughout Glasgow has been established in health centres and clinics in the evening. Over the past four years seven new exchanges have been opened and over 2700 injecting drug misusers have attended. Attendances rose from under 1000 in 1988 to 28,000 in 1992. The exchanges also provide a wide range of other health and social services. Public hostility to the exchanges has abated. During the same period equipment sharing in the city diminished and the observed prevalence of HIV among injecting drug misusers stabilised at around 1%.