Earlier this year, the Grant County Syringe Services Program (SSP) was developed in partnership between Grant County Health District and Grant Integrated Services. Grant County’s Syringe Services Program currently operates as a mobile unit outside of the Moses Lake Food Bank weekly and offers a variety of services including clean needle exchange, wound care kits, naloxone kits, condoms, and other harm-reduction services. In June 2018, Grant County’s SSP was selected as one of NCACH’s Rapid Cycle Opioid awardees and received $5,000 for start-up costs.
NCACH recently had the chance to learn more about the program as it enters its fifth month of operation.
(Graphic detailing Grant County’s Syringe Services Program outputs. Credit – Grant County Health District)
Tell us a bit about SSP?
The Grant County Syringe Services Program (SSP) was launched at the end of May 2018 as a harm reduction intervention as part of Grant County’s opioid response. Initially it was a mobile unit however, after receiving feedback from several clients we were working with, the team opted to transition to a stationary operation mid-July. To date, the SSP has exchanged 3,183 needles and we are aware of 8 saves due to the use of Naloxone (Narcan).
Where do you operate?
We currently operate out of the Grant Integrated Services van and set up outside of the Moses Lake Food Bank each Wednesday for two hours in the afternoon. Clients exchange used needles for new needles in a one-to-one exchange. Additionally, our exchange embraces a harm-reduction approach– we educate and provide clients with Naloxone (if they are interested), condoms, wound care kits, sharps containers, and referrals to drug treatment, social services, behavioral health and STI, HepC, HIV screenings, if they are interested and/or ready. Our goal is to do so much more than provide sterile needles; we meet these individuals where they are at in their journey. We are on a mission to reduce and prevent the spread of disease and create opportunities for individuals to gain access to the care and treatment they need in our community.
How are you capturing data with clients?
Each client is asked to provide us with a unique identifier, although they are not required to use this to participate. Additionally, we ask clients questions like, “Where did you sleep last night?” We hope these answers will support us bringing this program into other communities and help guide our work to identify potential gaps in services in our county.
What’s next for SSP?
We are in communication with a few other towns in Grant County, and hope to bring our program to their communities before the end of the year.
To learn more about Grant County’s Syringe Services Program, please contact the Grant County Health District at 509-766-7960.
Thank you to the staff at Grant County Health District for the information provided above.