The Department's anonymous syringe services program (SSP) is grounded in harm reduction and evidence-based principles.
SSP Services include:
- Needle exchange (used needles can be exchanged for clean needles & other supplies)
- Confidential addiction services counseling
- Wound care
- Confidential HIV & hepatitis C testing
- Treatment referrals
- Sign up for healthcare coverage
1 to 3:30 p.m. on Tuesdays
Get immediate, confidential mental health and substance use assistance 24/7 from Look Up Indiana. Call or 800-284-8439 OR text LOOKUP to 494949.
Used needles can be exchanged for clean needles and other supplies; testing for and education on HIV, Hepatitis C and TB; addiction & mental health services
Syringe Services Program
The Allen County SSP is typically open Tuesdays from 1-3:30 p.m.
4817 New Haven Avenue, Fort Wayne, IN 46803
Only people 18 and older will be allowed to receive services at the SSP.
The main goal is to prevent the spread of HIV and Hepatitis C in our community by educating on these issues and ensuring use of clean needles and supplies, which is how these viruses are spread.
Services will be provided only during designated hours and the designated SSP location, though hours may change if the numbers of people served continues to increase.
The goal is to provide a 1:1 exchange of used needles for clean needles, but it is possible to receive up to 3 clean needles for each used needle exchanged.
Only first visits to the SSP will receive clean needles if used needles are not exchanged.
Yes, please put your dirty needles in a sharps container or in a coffee can or laundry detergent bottle and bring it to the SSP.
The SSP operates on a first come, first served basis and usually takes between 15-30 minutes depending on the services received.
HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus and causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) if not treated. Unlike some other viruses, the human body can’t get rid of HIV completely even with treatment. So once you get HIV, you have it for life. HIV attacks the body’s immune system, specifically the CD4 cells (T cells), which help the immune system fight off infections. Untreated, HIV reduces the number of CD4 cells (T cells) in the body, making the person more likely to get other infections or infection-related cancers. Over time HIV can destroy so many of these cells that the body can’t fight off infections and disease. These opportunistic infections or cancers take advantage of a very weak immune system and signal that the person has AIDS, the last stage of HIV infection. No effective cure currently exists, but HIV can be controlled with proper medical care. The medicine used to treat HIV is called antiretroviral therapy or ART. If taken the right way every day, this medicine can dramatically prolong the lives of many people infected with HIV, keep them healthy, and greatly lower their chance of infecting others. Before the introduction of ART in the mid-1990s, people with HIV could progress to AIDS in just a few years. Today, someone diagnosed with HIV and treated before the disease is far advanced can live nearly as long as someone who does not have HIV.
Hepatitis C is a liver infection caused by the Hepatitis C virus (HCV). Hepatitis C is a blood-borne virus. Most people become infected with the Hepatitis C virus by sharing needles or other equipment to inject drugs. For 70-85% of people who become infected with Hepatitis C, it becomes a long-term, chronic infection. Chronic Hepatitis C is a serious disease than can result in long-term health problems, even death. The majority of infected persons might not be aware of their infection because they are not clinically ill. There is no vaccine for Hepatitis C. The best way to prevent Hepatitis C is by avoiding behaviors that can spread the disease, especially injecting drugs, but successful treatment is now available.
No, please call 911.
Security will be present for staff & client safety only.
We are hopeful that will not occur. Local law enforcement is aware of the site and service and are supportive of it. We do not foresee any repercussions occurring to participants.
No. The goal of the SSP is to decrease the spread of Hepatitis C and HIV by promoting clean needle/supply use. Studies have shown over the 20 years of operations of syringe exchange programs worldwide, drug usage does NOT increase in communities where they are established. We also work to provide referrals and on-site assistance for anyone seeking to make a change in their lifestyle.
There are no studies indicating such increases.
The Allen County Department of Health in partnership with the Positive Resource Connection, Clean Slate, Park Center, Bowen Center and Fort Wayne Recovery operates the SSP.
Yes. No other locations are available in Allen County at this time.
Put them in a coffee can or laundry detergent bottle and seal securely with duct tape. Then place in the normal trash.
No. Members of the media won’t be permitted inside the SSP during operational hours.