The Impact of Syringe Deregulation on Sources of Syringes for Injection Drug Users: Preliminary Findings
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In 2001, New York State enacted legislation to allow the provision of syringes by pharmacies and healthcare providers without prescription (ESAP, the Expanded Syringe Access Demonstration Program). A longitudinal study of IDUs (n=130) found that pre-ESAP, about half used only the safest source (needle exchange programs [NEPs]). Post-ESAP implementation, ESAP sources were initiated by 14%. Frequency of injection was related to ESAP use and those who used unsafe (or possibly unsafe) sources were as likely to use ESAP as those who had previously used only NEPs. The findings indicate that providing multiple sources of safe syringes for IDUs is necessary.