Syringe Service Programs

Syringe service programs are community-based public health programs.

They provide critical services in nonjudgmental environments to people who use syringes. Services include:

DOH supports Syringe Service Programs (PDF) because they protect and improve the health of individuals and communities.

Are Syringe Service Programs legal?

Syringe exchange, syringe sales, and syringe distribution in Washington State are legal. A jurisdiction's health officer can authorize a syringe service program, or an independent organization can operate one. Washington State allows distribution of syringes through:

  • Public health
  • Community based HIV prevention programs
  • Pharmacies

Information on legal grounds:

How do I find a program?

There are syringe service programs in 26 counties. You can locate SSPs in your area. Use our Syringe Service Program Directory and search by county and by Accountable Community of Health.

Learn about the evidence base for Syringe Service Programs through a list of public health research and guidance published since 2007. This resource is searchable by topic, author, and year.

What services can I get at a Syringe Service program?

Syringe service programs are community-based prevention programs that can provide a range of services, including:

  • Overdose prevention education & naloxone access
  • Access to new syringes and injection equipment
  • Disposal of used syringes
  • Vaccination
  • Screening and linkage to care and treatment for infectious diseases like hepatitis C and HIV
  • Wound care
  • Health education, referrals, and linkage to health care and substance use disorder treatment


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Syringe Service Programs

Resources for people who use drugs

Resources for organizations that serve people who use drugs