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COUNTY OF MONTEREY

HEALTH DEPARTMENT

Nationally Accredited for Providing Quality Health Services

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Syringe Exchange Program

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Syringe exchange is a public health intervention which is proven to reduce the transmission of blood-borne pathogens in the community, including HIV and Hepatitis C. It works by providing people who cannot or will not stop injecting illegal drugs with new syringes, and a place to safely dispose of used syringes. There are approximately 200 syringe exchange programs operating in 38 states.

California Health and Safety Code Section 11364.7 (a) guarantees freedom from criminal prosecution for public entities and their agents or employees who distribute syringes or syringes during a lawfully authorized syringe exchange project/program.

As of January 2017, Access Support Network operates a syringe exchange program in Monterey County authorized by the Monterey County Board of Supervisors.  Please see below for service locations and dates.  

Monterey County Syringe Exchange Schedule

Location

Days/times

15 Soledad Street, Salinas, CA  93901

Mondays and Fridays 2:00pm - 4:00pm

Syringe Exchange Utilization Data

Monterey County Health Department provides information on syringe exchange utilization to inform stakeholders and the public of syringe exchange activities in Monterey County.  Questions about syringe exchange utilization data can be directed to Access Support Network at 831-975-5016 or to Kristy Michie, Monterey County Health Department, at 831-755-4503.

Utilization Category
2017
January - March (Q1) 2018
 Total Number of Syringes Distributed
 50,892  16,958
 Total Number of Syringes Collected
 50,899  16,958
 Total Number of Individuals Served
 3,048  808
 Gender of Individuals Served
   
 Male
 67%  71%
 Female
 32%  29%
 Transgender
 1%  0%
Race & Ethnicity of Individuals Served
   
 Asian, Non-Hispanic
 1%  0%
 Black or African-American, Non-          Hispanic
 9%  14%
 Hispanic, Any Race
 42%  50%
 White, Non-Hispanic
 34%  27%
 Other and Multi-Racial, Non-Hispanic
 15%  9%
 Geographic Region of Residence
   
 Monterey Peninsula & Big Sur
 3%  19%
 North County
 4%  5%
 Salinas Area
 90%  76%
 South County
 3%  0%
 Risk Information
   
 Injection Drug User
 100%  100%
 Friend, Family Member, or Sex Partner
 0%  0%
 Other  0%  0%
 Assistance Referrals
   
 Substance Abuse Treatment
 Not Collected
 11
 HIV and/or Hepatitis C Testing
 Not Collected
 22
 Naloxone and Overdose Education
 Not Collected
 76
 Primary Care or Wound Care
 Not Collected
 12
 Housing Services
 Not Collected
 2
 Food Bank and Food Assistance
 Not Collected
 15
 Other  Not Collected
 0

Nonprescription Syringe Sales

Beginning January 1, 2015, new legislation removes prior limits on the number of syringes pharmacies may sell without a prescription. Many pharmacists are unaware of the current law that allows pharmacies to sell syringes without a prescription or are unclear on what the law allows and requires. While the law allows pharmacies to sell syringes without a prescription, it does not require that pharmacies sell syringes without a prescription.  Please check with your pharmacy to determine their policy.

For more information, review the Office of AIDS Pharmacist Fact Sheet released December 2014.

Additional materials and resources are available on the Office of AIDS syringe access website.

If you have questions please contact Kristy Michie, Program Manager, at michiekj@co.monterey.ca.us or 831-755-4503.

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