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Needle Exchange Service

We offer a Needle/Syringe Exchange Service from a number of our pharmacies. This is a discreet service, where service users can obtain packs and return used sharps to the pharmacy. This service is intended to reduce the need for reusing/sharing needles and the risk to health associated with such practices.

How can I safely dispose of a needle?

  • Don’t try to recap the needle.
  • Place a puncture proof container (biohazard bin, coffee tin, bleach jar, peanut butter jar, laundry detergent container) down on a level surface.
  • Put on a pair of disposable gloves: latex, gardening or kitchen
  • Use pliers, tongs or tweezers to pick up the needle on the plunger side. Keep the sharp end away from your body.
  • Put the needle sharp end first into the puncture proof container.
  • If you are picking up more than one needle, never fill the container more than ¾ full.
  • Securely close the container and tape the lid down.
  • Dispose of the gloves and wash your hands with soap and water.
  • Store the container in a safe place away from children.
  • Take the sealed container to a pharmacy that accepts used sharps, or place it in community Needle Drop Box.

What should I do if I get a needle stick injury?

Encourage the wound to bleed out, then wash the wound with soap & water. Get to the nearest health care provider as soon as possible for assessment. Leave the needle behind; it is riskier to try and bring the needle with you. Although the risk of contracting HIV or Hepatitis C is very low, there is a small risk that you may become infected. Go to Emergency as soon as possible, and tell them you've had a needle stick.

Our Pharmacies which provide this service are: