Points West is a safe, anonymous, confidential and stigma-free space offering syringe services at no cost. Opened in February of 2016, Points West was the first syringe services program in Jefferson County, Colorado.
In addition to new syringes and disposal of used ones, participants have access to other safer injection gear, safer tools for smoking and snorting, overdose prevention education, naloxone (Narcan), sharps containers, HIV and Hepatitis C (HCV) testing, and more.
Based in harm reduction principles, the goal of the program is to reduce potential harms associated with drug use in a respectful, warm environment. We do this not just with supplies and education, but also by trusting that people who use drugs know what they need, and that they care as much about their health as people who do not use drugs.
Why we do it
Once considered radical, illegal and underground, many early syringe programs were driven by the AIDS epidemic in the 1980’s and 90’s. Today, HIV prevention is still key in harm reduction, as well as Hepatitis C prevention, because both continue to disproportionally impact people who inject drugs. Points West is committed to continue this work, and in addition to safer supplies, our team also offers free and confidential HIV and HCV testing to all participants with results in about 20 minutes.
Another key goal of a harm reduction program like Points West is to offer people a variety of tools and education that can help them be in control of their health. Syringe services help people maintain good health and are economically beneficial for the whole community through reduced health care cost. Connecting people to relevant health information and resources is important, because health is a human right.