In February 2016, Jefferson County Public Health opened the county’s first syringe services program, Points West. Points West is a harm reduction program that allows people who inject drugs to exchange used syringes for new, sterile ones. It also provides new injection equipment, free HIV and Hepatitis C testing, education and counseling, referrals to treatment and other vital services, overdose prevention and response training and Narcan/Naloxone distribution, and safe disposal of used syringes. Through harm reduction principles, staff members meet the client ‘where they are at’ and work to decrease harm associated with injection drug use, in a safe, judgment-free environment.
Points West staff link participants to other Jefferson County Public Health clinic services such as immunizations, family planning, and STD testing and treatment. The program also aims to provide people who inject drugs with optional referrals to substance use and/or mental health treatment tailored to the individual's needs.
The mission of Points West is to decrease HIV, Hepatitis B and C transmission, and to better address the needs of people who inject drugs.