Expansion of syringe service programs in the United States, 2015-2018

Don C. Des Jarlais, Jonathan Feelemyer, Kamyar Arasteh, Paul LaKosky, Kathryn Szymanowski

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Objectives. To report on the expansion of syringe service programs (SSPs) in the United States from 2015 to 2018. Methods. We obtained data from records of the Buyers' Club of the Dave Purchase Project/North American Syringe Exchange Network (NASEN), including the number of US SSPs and the numbers of sterile syringes purchased by programs. We conducted a subset analysis of states with high numbers of counties defined as "vulnerable" by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Results. SSP participation in the Buyers' Club increased from 141 in 2015 to 292 in 2018, with an increase in syringes purchased from 42 million to 88 million. In addition to these large increases in numbers of programs and in syringes purchased, there were also indications of instability among new programs in vulnerable states. Conclusions. There have been substantial increases in the number of programs established and the number of syringes distributed in response to the opioid epidemic. Ensuring high-quality services in these new programs will be critical to successfully addressing the current epidemic.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)517-519
Number of pages3
JournalAmerican journal of public health
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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