The New Zealand Needle Exchange Programme is looking for a National Practice and Policy Lead

The New Zealand Needle Exchange Programme is looking for a National Practice and Policy Lead who will be responsible for establishing, leading and supporting our organisation to enhance its harm reduction capabilities. The role spans policy and practice development, training and development, quality assurance, service development and will work closely with our National Harm Reduction Lead. The position description link. Learn More

Fentanyl overdoses in Wairarapa region, 12 people hospitalised

NZNEP National Harm Reduction Lead, Jason George spoke to StuffNZ about the response to the hospitalisation of 12 people in the Wairarapa region, calling for the scaling up of drug checking services around NZ. In response to the hospitalisations, the NZ Drug Foundation is working with the NZNEP to provide a pop-up drug checking clinic at the NZNEP Masterton branch on Thursday 30th June 2022 from 12-4pm as well as increasing the availability of Naloxone nasal spray and Fentanyl testing strips. Learn More

Needle Exchange Programme - finances show success

A balance sheet shows treatment for HIV is our most successful public health programme ever. The bottom line of some new data is that the New Zealand Needle Exchange Programme has doubled its return over the last 20 years, indicating less is spent now than it was in the early 2000s on treating HIV, also hepatitis B and C, and other injection-related injuries. Learn More

Christchurch Labour MPs Visit NZNEP National Office

NZNEP National Operations Manager Philippa Jones and Harm Reduction Lead Jason George met with Christchurch Labour MPs Dr Megan Woods, Sarah Pallett & Dr Tracey McLellan today to talk about the benefits of our service and shared some real stories of how the Misuse of Drugs Act 1975 impacts the lives of people who use drugs. Learn More

New Zealand Needle Exchange Trials Online Distribution

The New Zealand Needle Exchange Programme (NZNEP) has launched an online shop to make the service more accessible and to reduce the need for in-person visits in response to Covid-19. For the last 33 years the NZNEP has distributed equipment from dedicated needle exchange outlets, mobile services, pharmacies and a small number of other locations that are part of the NZNEP. Learn More

Change to morphine supply could see rise in opioid overdoses

NZNEP Harm Reduction Lead Jason George and Dr Rhys Ponton from the University of Auckland co-authored a letter published in the New Zealand Medical Journal on 13/3/20 warning of a possible increase in opioid overdoses in New Zealand due to a change to the morphine products available in New Zealand. The changes will see Arrow long acting (LA) morphine discontinued in New Zealand leaving m-Eslon morphine capsules as the only long acting morphine formulation available. The change will have minimal impact on patients but there are potential consequences for the illicit opioid scene. Learn More

Media Release | NEP Hep C campaign

Whilst there are a number of risk factors, people who inject drugs bear the burden of Hepatitis C with 95% of new infections occurring within the injecting community. People who inject drugs make up a sizeable proportion of the 25,000 New Zealanders that we estimate are unaware that they may have hepatitis C. Learn More

International Harm Reduction Day | 7th May 2019

Today marks the 6th International Harm Reduction Day, a day focussed on promoting evidence based public health policy, practices and human rights. Established over 30 years ago, the New Zealand Needle Exchange Programme is one of New Zealand’s most successful public health programmes. Last year the programme distributed 3.75 million needles. Internationally, HIV prevalence amongst people who inject drugs is 13%, in New Zealand it is just 0.2% largely due to the early introduction of needle exchange. Learn More

NZNEP response to Sense Partners Report | Estimating the impact of drug policy options

At the New Zealand Needle Exchange Programme, we welcome the report released yesterday by Sense Partners and the New Zealand Drug Foundation. As a drug user-based programme, this is an issue that is particularly important and very personal to us. We’ve long argued for a health-based approach and the research shows that this is the most effective response in addressing drug harms. With this report, we now have the economic evidence. Learn More

NZNEP attends Big Gay Out, Auckland

The NEP continued its ongoing presence at the Big Gay Out and its support for the rainbow community by attending the Ending HIV Big Gay Out. Unfortunately the event for the first time in 10 years was cancelled on the day due to heavy rain and health and safety issues. However, NEP rainbow staff were set up early in our specially designed t shirts and engaged with the community prior to the event was cancelled. Learn More

Study on efficacy of rapid testing for Hepatitis C in needle exchange completed

A research study into the efficacy of rapid testing in needle exchanges funded by a grant from ABBVIE has recently been completed. Over 200 clients across 3 sites on the West Coast, Christchurch and Dunedin participated in the study which involved the administration of a finger prick test and following up testing/referral to treatment by needle exchange staff. As people who inject drugs bear the burden of hepatitis C and usually don’t access mainstream services due to fear of stigma and discrimination, this study was critical in establishing the validity of new services being provided in the exchanges themselves. As the needle exchange is a peer based, peer led programme, NZNEP has a credibility within the injecting drug using community. Learn More

Hailed NZ needle exchange turns 30 - The Press

"I do not think it is possible to have the perfect solution ... when the position is ... a balance of awfulness" said Dr Michael Bassett, the minister of health, as he introduced a bill that created the world's first, state-sponsored needle programme for intravenous drug users. It was 1987 and David Lange's Labour Government and much of New Zealand were spooked by the arrival of Aids in this country. Learn More

30th Anniversary of NEP legislation

This weekend will mark the 30th anniversary of legislation to support the implementation of one of New Zealand’s most successful public health programmes. The New Zealand Needle Exchange Programme has been leading harm reduction in New Zealand for 30 years. Learn More

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