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Syringe Services

Counseling Needle Exchange Allen County Department of Health Indiana

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


4817 New Haven Ave.

Fort Wayne, IN 46803
Take Citilink Bus Route No. 10

Need Help Now?

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.

Other resources provides information about services for substance use disorder in our area.

Syringe Services Program
What services are offered at the Allen County Syringe Services Program (SSP)?

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

What does SSP stand for?

Syringe Services Program

When is the SSP open?

The Allen County SSP is typically open Tuesdays from 1-3:30 p.m.

Where is the SSP located?

4817 New Haven Avenue, Fort Wayne, IN 46803

Is there an age limit for those who can receive services?

Only people 18 and older will be allowed to receive services at the SSP.

What is the main goal for 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.

What if I need services but cannot make it to the SSP during the hours it is open?

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.

How many clean needles can I get?

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.

Do I have to bring used needles with me to get clean needles at the SSP?

Only first visits to the SSP will receive clean needles if used needles are not exchanged.

Do I need to put my used needles in a special container before I bring them in to the SSP?

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.

How much time will it take once I get to the SSP for me to be helped?

The SSP operates on a first come, first served basis and usually takes between 15-30 minutes depending on the services received.

What is HIV?

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.

What is Hepatitis C?

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.

Will police be inside the SSP?

Security will be present for staff & client safety only.

Could I be arrested if I am seen going to the SSP?

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.

Does the SSP promote drug use?

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.

Do SSP’s increase violence in communities?

There are no studies indicating such increases.

What organizations are operating this SSP?

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.

Is 4817 New Haven Avenue the only location of the SSP? Are there other locations?

Yes. No other locations are available in Allen County at this time.

What if I need to get rid of used needles when the SSP is closed – what should I do?

Put them in a coffee can or laundry detergent bottle and seal securely with duct tape. Then place in the normal trash.

Are reporters allowed inside the SSP to do news stories?

No. Members of the media won’t be permitted inside the SSP during operational hours.