Syringe disposal among injection drug users in Harlem and the Bronx during the New York State Expanded Syringe Access Demonstration Program

Charles M. Cleland, Sherry Deren, Crystal M. Fuller, Shannon Blaney, James M. McMahon, Stephanie Tortu, Don C. Des Jarlais, David Vlahov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Effective January 1, 2001, New York State enacted the Expanded Syringe Access Demonstration Program (ESAP), allowing syringes to be sold in pharmacies without a prescription or dispensed through doctors, hospitals, and clinics to adults. A concern in the assessment of ESAP is its effects on syringe disposal practices. Syringe use data regarding the last injection episode were combined from three projects (N = 1,030) recruiting injection drug users. Disposal of syringes by methods known to be safe decreased significantly over time after the implementation of ESAP. Syringes obtained either from syringe exchange programs or ESAP sources were more likely to be disposed of safely than syringes obtained from other sources. Efforts to enlist pharmacists and others involved in ESAP implementation to encourage safe disposal are needed. More detailed information on disposal practices is needed to capture the continuum from least to most safe practices and variation within individuals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)390-403
Number of pages14
JournalHealth Education and Behavior
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2007



  • Injection drug use
  • Pharmacies
  • Syringe access
  • Syringe disposal
  • Syringe exchange program

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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