Following several years of advocacy and work with nonprofit funding partners, Family Health Centers of San Diego began providing syringe exchange services almost 20 years ago. Today, the program is still in operation and providing care to thousands annually despite the lack of support or funding from County Health & Human Services.
The lack of support from the County is due to a ban that was put in place by the Board of Supervisors in 1997 and still is in effect today.
On Tuesday, March 10, the County Board of Supervisors will review and vote on an action to lift this ban and implement the full range of harm reduction practices into County health programs. If approved, this action will allow San Diego County to embrace harm reduction as this is now a proven practice endorsed by the CDC and healthcare experts worldwide.
Read the full news article here.
Lend your support and sign the petition below in favor of lifting the ban.
Syringe Services Programs (SSPs) are recognized by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for their effectiveness in reducing rates of substance use and disease transmission.
SSPs provide sterile syringes and disposal services, education and counseling to reduce overdose deaths, and increase linkages to health and social services. SSPs are proven to reduce HIV and hepatitis C infection rates, reduce the likelihood of drug overdose and put injection drug users on a path to recovery. Read the Board Letter for more information ahead of next week’s vote!
- FHCSD supports harm reduction and has operated San Diego’s only Syringe Services Program (SSP) for nearly 20 years. The program provides lifesaving services, stops disease transmission and removes used syringes from the community.
- The SSP has cared for over 10,000 individuals and removed more than 500,000 syringes from the streets since 2002.
- SSPs like Safe Point San Diego help get individuals into drug treatment programs, reduce disease transmission and overdose death. Vast research proves they do not increase drug use or crime rates.
- Safe Point San Diego provides harm reduction services and education and prevents the spread of infectious diseases like HIV and hepatitis.