National Day of Action on Syringe Exchange

National Day of Action on Syringe Exchange is observed next on Tuesday, March 21st, 2023 (166 days from today).

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Substance use can cost you family, friends, and ultimately your life. Drugs are being prescribed, abused, and misunderstood at alarmingly high rates, and the potential for overdose still occurs every time it's corrected.

While we can't reasonably expect a cure for addiction overnight, together we can make bold strides in reducing the risk of dying from OD.

March 21 is National Action Day on Syringe Exchange. This practice allows intravenous drug users the opportunity to replace their used needles with clean needles to avoid dangerous conditions for injecting equipment.

History of National Day of Action on Syringe Exchange

In 2005, California legislators legalized the installation of needle exchange centers, subject to the permission of local municipalities and the implementation of appropriate neighborhood organizations. While this topic remains the subject of controversy and debate, we urge our neighbors to consider the benefits of such a program before scrapping it altogether.

Clean needles do not necessarily encourage drug use. Instead, they provide a safer alternative to reusing equipment that can cause disease and rotting. While needle exchange is not the solution to our drug epidemic, it is the first step in meeting a drug addict and trying to find solutions to their problems impending doom they are facing.

No exchange program will be complete without proper consultation. When someone searches for clean needles, it shows that they care about their health but are still in the arms of addiction. This means they want help, and we have to listen to their needs.

Harm reduction counseling recognizes a user's immediate cravings for the drug of their choice, provides a dosage reduction plan and guides them towards a sober future. They may not be ready to give up the cold turkey, but they are showing a willingness to get better, and that bravery should be applauded and encouraged.

In addition to preventing possible overdose, harm reduction counseling can also educate stimulant users about the potential risks of infectious diseases such as HIV and hepatitis C. These viruses are contagious spread through the use of dirty needles and their transmission rates can be greatly reduced with the introduction of a syringe exchange program.

Although HIV is known to have a short life outside the human body, it can actually survive in needles under the skin for up to 42 days. This means that a used syringe shared between two or more people has the potential to infect any of those who use it for more than a month. If we can reduce this habit of needle reuse, we can always reduce the spread of HIV.

How to celebrate National Day of Action on Syringe Exchange

To celebrate National Day of Action on Syringe Exchange, you are encouraged to spread positive and accurate information about syringe exchange to everyone around you. If you or your friend need to exchange syringes, feel free to visit the syringe exchange centers for advice and a new syringe. Share your information with the hashtag #NationalDayofActiononSyringeExchange.

Observed

National Day of Action on Syringe Exchange has been observed annually on March 21st.

Dates

Sunday, March 21st, 2021

Monday, March 21st, 2022

Tuesday, March 21st, 2023

Thursday, March 21st, 2024

Friday, March 21st, 2025

Also on Tuesday, March 21st, 2023

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