Where can I purchase syringes?
North Carolina law allows for the purchase of syringes from a pharmacy without a prescription. However, the decision to sell syringes is up to the discretion of pharmacists and pharmacies. For more information on pharmacies in your area that comply with this law and are committed to reducing the spread of HIV and Hepatitis C, contact us.
Where can I purchase naloxone?
In North Carolina naloxone (brand name Narcan) is covered by a standing order. This means that you do not have to have a prescription for naloxone to purchase it from a pharmacy. As is the case with syringes, it is up to the discretion of a pharmacist to sell naloxone without a prescription. For more information on pharmacies in your area that comply with the standing order and are committed to preventing overdose deaths, contact us.
Where else can I get free syringes and naloxone in Buncombe County?
Western North Carolina Aids Project (WNCAP)
You can refer to WNCAP's website to view available hours and locations during COVID-19. Hours and locations may vary.
What do I do if I find a syringe on the ground?
- Put on gloves
- Place a puncture-proof container (like an empty laundry detergent or bleach bottle, or a biohazard sharps container) on the ground beside the syringe
- Using tongs or gloved hands (whichever provides the most control), pick up the syringe by the middle of the barrel
- Place the syringe into the container sharp end first
- Secure the lid of the container
- Remove gloves and wash your hands
You can bring your containers to Steady Collective during outreach hours or take them to the Buncombe County Transfer Station (190 Hominy Creek Road).
Steady Collective maintains all outdoor syringe collection units in Buncombe county. These units were made and installed by Asheville Greenworks. If you find individual syringes near any of these containers just deposit them in the top and Steady will pick them up. In 2019 these containers kept over 1200 used syringes off the ground and out of waterways. Follow this link to find a unit near you: Collection Container Map
Steady Collective has regular syringe pick-up events. Studies show needle litter to be less prevalent near community syringe access programs.
Why do we need harm reduction programs here?
Based on an analysis of available county-level data on year-over-year opioid-related overdose deaths, Buncombe County has the highest rate of overdose deaths in Western North Carolina. In the last decade, the highest rate of meth-related deaths in the state occurred in Buncombe county. Hospitalizations and surgeries to treat infective endocarditis, an infection of one or more heart valves often caused by injecting with dirty needles, have increased tenfold in North Carolina.
Why is Steady uniquely suited to do this work?
Evidence shows that established community-based syringe access programs like Steady Collective prevent disease, overdose, and injection-related injuries. There is also research that confirms that people who participate in these kinds of syringe access programs are more likely to engage with local healthcare systems and enter into treatment for substance use.
Steady is not JUST a syringe access program. We are committed to the principles of harm reduction. We provide non-judgmental, non-coercive provision of services and resources and create the lowest possible barriers to care. We believe that no one should be denied their human rights based on drug use. We advocate for drug users and their families in hospitals, jails, treatment facilities, and city hall.
What does Steady do for someone looking for treatment?
Steady maintains a list of evidence-based treatment resources. If participants ask, we provide referrals to trusted providers from that list. If you are interested in being included as a resource for our participants, contact us.