Stats show importance of exchange program

The injecting equipment includes about 15,000 needles and a similar number of syringes distributed per month.

The service is run through Palmerston Association and is available daily. Palmerston chief executive Sheila McHale said the public health importance of a well-managed needle and exchange program service was important.

‘Our service plays a significant role in preventing and limiting the spread of HIV and other blood borne viruses and hepatitis C, the leading cause of liver disease,’ she said.

‘We also believe it helps improve the safety of our community as it reduces the presence of used needles around our suburbs. It also gives us a great opportunity to engage with people who inject drugs to provide information and additional support.’