Syringe Service Programs In Sweden
"The National Board of Health and Welfare and the Public Health Agency of Sweden defines the procedures that county councils should follow when setting up NSPs [Needle and Syringe Exchange Programs], which include a justification of need (e.g. an estimate of the number of potential service users), an assessment of available resources, a provision plan for complementary and additional care services (e.g. detoxification, drug treatment and aftercare), and service quality requirements. The offer of low-threshold services includes medical and social care and support, free testing for infectious diseases and vaccination for hepatitis B virus infection and referral.
"In 2017, there were 13 NSPs operating across Sweden, and available data document a steep increase in syringe provision, starting from about 200 000 in 2014 and reaching more than half a million in 2017. Pharmacies in Sweden may sell needles or syringes only to people with a prescription for medical use.
"During 2018, several regulatory changes came into force to increase the availability of naloxone. These included allowing (i) emergency services staff to give naloxone before an ambulance arrives, (ii) nurses to prescribe naloxone and (iii) the medication to be handed out directly to the patient. National guidance on naloxone use and the risks of overdose has recently been published."