Sharps bin stickers promote safer injecting

To promote safer injecting and to minimise harm Warwickshire’s Drug and Alcohol Action Team have developed new stickers for sharps boxes.

The stickers have been designed to signpost people to the four Recovery Partnership drug and alcohol treatment centres across Warwickshire.

Injecting drug users are at risk to a number of harms, including:

  • Damage to the injection site as a result of poor injecting technique
  • Bacterial and fungal infections(such as localised abscesses and systemic infections) as a result of poor injecting technique, contaminated drug products, and sharing vials and/or reusing injecting equipment
  • Blood-borne viruses such as HIV, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C as a result of sharing used injecting equipment or sharing vials (that have become contaminated through reuse of injecting equipment) with other


The aim of this campaign is to encourage all injecting drug users to engage with treatment services in Warwickshire and in particular to get immunised against blood-borne viruses.

Hepatitis C is a major public health issue, research has shown that injecting drug use is the most common route of transmission for Hepatitis C, the cause of up to 90% of all new cases.

The stickers display a phone number and service opening times, and remind users that the drug and alcohol treatment service offered by The Recovery Partnership is confidential and free.

This is an excellent initiative that deserves success. But there are other essential steps that will improve safety for all those affected by IV drug use.

  • Fully automatic (passive) safety engineered needles will eliminate needle sharing and ensure that discarded sharps present a much reduced hazard to those who may be exposed
  • Sharps bins are essential and must be provided to each IVDU, and be placed in key locations where drug use is common to ensure as far as possible that a user is never too far from a clean needle and a sharps bin for disposal
  • A safe injecting facility


Each of these initiatives takes considerable effort, much time and some patience, and a lot of money. That doesn’t come easily, and in many situations may be entirely inaccessible as much for political reasons as any other.

But the impact on public health protection, including the protection of those who may be exposed to drug litter is profound. Warwickshire’s Drug and Alcohol Action Team are taking a big step in the right direction, and we wish them well.

Sharps bin stickers promote safer injecting. Let’s hope that it can promote also safe disposal.



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