Injection drug use and its associated harms are part of one of the worst drug epidemics in our society today. There is a lot of stigma and lack of understanding for people who inject drugs, who are homeless and/or who are people of color. Our Syringe Exchange Program is designed to provide harm reduction services to these communities across Los Angeles County to help improve the quality of life and address the stigma of these communities.
By providing clean syringes and supplies, conducting overdose prevention trainings and interacting with injection drug users, we are helping to:
- Reduce the number of HIV and Hep C infections in Los Angeles County
- Decrease the number of people who inject drugs who die from an overdose
- Get rid of the stigma surrounding people who inject drugs
- Give these communities the tools they need to take control of their own health
We offer syringe exchange services at both center-based and street-based sites. Our Syringe Exchange staff are trained in the principles of harm reduction and provide a compassionate and open space for individuals to feel welcome and free of judgment.
Our confidential and comprehensive syringe exchange services are currently available at the following center location:
EAST LOS ANGELES
Syringe Exchange Program Hours:
10:00am – 2:00pm
4:00pm – 7:00pm
Monday through Friday
Walk in or call for more info today: (866) 590-6411 ext. 139.
Our Syringe Exchange Program offers these services to you:
- HIV & Hepatitis C testing and linkage to medical treatment
- Mental Health and Substance Use Counseling
- Abscess and Wound Care services
- Naloxone Kits and Overdose Prevention Training
- Fentanyl information & test strips
- Other services and information that you may need
Street-Based Outreach Sites
Our Syringe Exchange services are currently available two days of the week across three different sites (see schedule below). A mobile van allows the Bienestar Syringe Exchange team to travel to street locations and clinics to meet clients and deliver these important services.
Schedule of Street-Based Syringe Exchange Sites:
Monday 10:00am – 12:00pm
Coastal Recovery Center
117 E Harry Bridges Blvd
Wilmington, CA 90744
Monday 3:30pm – 5:00pm
6740 N. Marmion Way
Los Angeles, CA 90042
Wednesday 4:00pm – 6:00pm
El Pueblo de Los Angeles
527 N. Spring Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Thursday 3:30pm – 5:00pm
2762 Alhambra Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90031
Harm Reduction and Syringe Exchange Programs
Harm reduction is a set of ideas and strategies that are aimed at decreasing the negative consequences from drug use. Harm Reduction is about helping improve the health and well-being of all people without judging their behavior to use drugs or engage in other harmful actions. It is also realizing that everyone has different circumstances and experiences in life, and for some people, their individual life journey has led them to a path that involves drugs. We help people by giving them control of their life and moving them toward any positive change, no matter how small.
Syringe Exchange Programs (SEPs) are one of the most common Harm Reduction tools used today. These programs were created by public health experts to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis, and other drug-related issues.
At SEPs, injection drug users can receive new, clean syringes and safely get rid of dirty, used syringes. They are also able to find education and materials that promote safer ways of using drugs. In addition, SEPs are able to connect participants to important health services such as:
- HIV and Hep C testing and treatment
- STI screening and treatment
- Substance abuse counseling and therapy
- Drug detoxification and treatment services
- Various other medical and health services
According to a United States Surgeon General study, SEPs are a highly effective public health intervention that reduces the transmission of HIV and Hepatitis. Findings also show that SEPs do not increase the use of drugs, drug-related crimes or increase the number of dirty syringes in communities.
As with any harm reduction program, the primary goal of SEPs is to meet people where they are and support them as they make positive changes in their lives.
For more information about our Syringe Exchange Program, please contact:
Hugo Aguilar, Syringe Exchange Program Coordinator
(866) 590-6411 ext. 139