SYRINGE EXCHANGE PROGRAM
The Hawai'i Health & Harm Reduction Center exchanges sterile needles for used ones for people who use needles to inject drugs, steroids, hormones, or other substances.
We are strictly a one-for-one exchange. If you do not have any syringes to exchange, in Hawai'i it is legal to purchase syringes at pharmacies without a prescription. Please contact us if you have any questions.
Syringe exchange is available 5 days per week on four Hawaiian Islands (excluding holidays, office closures, and unforeseeable events such as being short-staffed). Please call the following numbers for times and locations to exchange.
Office line for more information – (808) 521-2437 ext. 273 (Please note – we cannot exchange at our office location.)
Cell for outreach van that parks in Chinatown – (808) 285-4265
Cell for van that does syringe exchange appointments 5 days per week (call ahead for schedule) – (808) 286-2852
Maui: (808) 264-1982
Kaua'i: (808) 651-7213
Hilo: (808) 895-1719
Kona: (808) 331-8177
The 2021 Syringe Exchange Annual Report has been released!
Our annual report outlines trends in number and demographics of participants and the impact of the program on HIV infection. The Report also includes an assessment of the cost-effectiveness of the program, the strengths and weaknesses of the program, the advisability of its continuation, and ways to improve the SEP.
HARM REDUCTION WITH ALOHA
HAWAI'I SYRINGE EXCHANGE PROGRAM VIDEO
SEE A NEEDLE?
SEE A SYRINGE? A HOW-TO GUIDE FOR ADULTS
How to dispose of a syringe (hypodermic needle) safely and legally:
Stay calm. It may be disturbing to find a discarded syringe in a public area, and though they may carry an infection, transmission is very rare.
Do not attempt to pick it up with your bare hands. Use a set of tongs or another device. If that’s not possible, wear gloves or use a napkin or other barrier to pick it up by the non-needle end. Do not try to cap a syringe, as it increases the risk of needle stick.
Drop the syringe, needle end down, one at a time into a sharps container or other hard plastic container (i.e. soda or laundry detergent bottle). If possible, sterilize the sharps with a mixture of 1 part bleach to 10 parts water. Soak for at least 20 minutes.
Tightly close or seal the container, tape the lid on with duct tape if possible. Label the container “BIOHAZARD.”
Dispose of the container in a rubbish bin away from the reach of children and animals.
HOW TO PROPERLY DISPOSE OF A SYRINGE
There are serious safety concerns when disposing of used syringes, needles, sharps and other bio-hazardous materials, specifically in regards to our garbage collectors and landfill workers. If proper care is not taken, needles can puncture the trash bags and cause injury and potentially spread infectious diseases like hepatitis. According to the State Department of Health (2000), the types of home health care waste items may include: needles and syringes; lancets; cookers; tourniquets; other sharp objects. Please watch the videos below to learn how to correctly dispose of and pick up used syringes.
6 STEPS TO DISPOSE OF USED NEEDLES AND SYRINGES SAFELY AT HOME
1. Place needles, syringes, lancets, and any other contaminated tools inside any strong, leak proof plastic container that has a small opening (so that no one else is able to stick their hand into it).
2. Clearly mark the container “BIOHAZARD.”
3. Needles and other contaminated sharps are NOT recyclable. Please keep them separate from other recyclables.
4. Do not recap, bend or break the needles prior to inserting them into the container. Place all parts inside the container.
5. Chemically disinfect all materials by pouring a 1 part bleach solution and 10 parts water into the container. Soak for 20 minutes then pour liquid down the drain and recap. Seal with heavy duty tape.
6. Be sure to keep all contaminated containers away from children and pets and place with other household solid waste.