As one of several state-sanctioned and state-funded syringe exchange programs in Massachusetts, AIDS Action’s Access Drug User Health Program distributes and exchanges syringes to people who inject drugs. Access Drug User Health Program is one of the state’s pilot sites for the distribution of Narcan, a nasal spray provided to IDUs and their network of supportive family and friends to reverse potentially fatal overdoses.
Before the onset of COVID-19, the program operated a drop-in center where members could access:
- Risk reduction supplies, such as crack kits, safer injection supplies, and condoms.
- Periodic risk reduction counseling—both group and individual services.
- Information and referrals to medical, substance use, and other social service providers.
With the temporary closure of the drop-in center, Access staff quickly pivoted to street outreach by foot, bike, or van to make sure the clients who rely on them continued to receive life-saving supplies and services, including HIV/HCV/STI testing, health navigation, support groups, and limited nursing care.