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Table HSR-5. Provision of needle and syringe programmes (NSPs)

Part (i) Syringes provided through needle and syringe programmes (NSPs), 2003–11

Country2003 Number syringes (x 1000) Coverage2005 Number syringes (x 1000)Coverage2007 Number syringes (x 1000)Coverage (%)2008 Number syringes (x 1000)Coverage (%)2009 Number syringes (x 1000)Coverage (%)2010 Number syringes (x 1000)Coverage (%)2011 Number syringes (x 1000)Coverage (%)
Belgium (Flemish community)(1)237national449national599100643:637100572:630100
Belgium (French community)(1)241national261national37185::30988335100309100
Bulgaria(1), (2), (3)400national600national735100508:669100677100643100
Czech Republic(1), (2) 1780national3274national4457100464498486110049471005398100
Denmark(1), (2), (4)910national910national::::::::::
France(1), (5) 9598national::10100701380087::13800:::
Netherlands (2), (6)700partial440partial380:429:283:::::
Finland(1), (11)1435national1892national264810027209530679534001003539100
UK- England(12):::::::::::::::
UK - Wales(13)::::::::::29801005140100
UK-Northern Ireland(14)83:86:117100136100154100180100197100
Norway(1), (2), (15)3300partial3300partial3275:::3100:2617:2639:


The table includes syringes provided through fixed and mobile NSP sites in the community and in prisons: at specialist drugs agencies, including through outreach work and peer-distribution, through vending machines and pharmacy-based NSP site.

Where data are not available, the table entry is left empty.

The methodology to collect data on the reporting coverage of syringes distributed changed between 2005 and 2007. In 2007 the coverage was quantified as the percentage of reporting NSP sites (NSP site: the term ‘site’ is used to describe physically distinct outlets where syringes can be obtained for free or in exchange against used ones.)

(1) Data on number of syringes in 2003 and 2005 are estimates.

(2) Data on number of syringes in 2005 are estimates.

(3) An internet based system for all reporting agencies was set up in 2008, thus establishing a working procedure for data reliability and consistency control. Any discrepancies with previous data is due to this change in the reporting system and trend analyses should be carefully performed. 668603 is the annual number of sets provided, each of them includes one syringe and two needles.

(4) Detailed information from the municipalities regarding distribution of syringes is not available in Denmark. However the Local Government Denmark (interest group and member authority of Danish municipalities) on the basis of a request from the former Ministry of Health and Prevention, in the summer of 2009, has studied the prevalence of syringe exchange programmes in the Danish municipalities. From this study, Local Government Denmark has concluded that the number of drug abusers who has access to sterile syringes is high. It must be noted that the municipalities are not legally obliged to distribute sterile syringes to drug abusers.

(5) Data on number of syringes in 2008 for France are an estimate based on reports from 87% of the specialised harm reduction agencies (CAARUDS) and includes also sterikit distribution/sale. The 2007 data include pharmacy-based sterikit distribution/sale which in 2006/07 amounted to approx. 5,3 million syringes.

(6) Partial data, covering only the cities of Amsterdam and Rotterdam.

(7) In 2012, there are four operational needle/syringe exchange programmes (NSP) in Sweden, three located in Skåne county and one in Kalmar. A fifth programme will be set up in Stockholm, and is likely to be operational in 2013.

(8) Data for Poland include syringes funded by the National Bureau for Drug Prevention.

(9) In 2007 a study was conducted on pharmacies needle and syringe programmes. The results found that approximately 300.000 syringes were purchased in pharmacies.

(10) Data for Slovakia cover independent exchange programmes provided by field services, treatment institutions and the K-centre.

(11) Some very small NSPs are not included, however their total volume is less than 5%.

(12) No reliable data on syringes distributed in England are available. A national web based system to collect information from local needle exchange services in England was introduced by the NTA in April 2008 and new data are expected starting from 2010/11. A Home Office report (ACMD, The primary prevention of hepatitis C among injecting drug users, Home Office, February 2009) mentions an estimate of 23 million for 2005 (p.16).

(13)The total number of syringes distributed by specialist agencies is an accurate count for the period 01/09/10 to 31/03/11.

(14) Data for Northern Ireland refer to the UK fiscal year: 1 April 2009 of the reporting year until 31 March 2010.

(15) Data on number of syringes in Norway are partial. Taking into account that there may be a few more NSPs in Norway, an overall estimate could be as high as 3.2 - 3.3 mill syringes. In 2011 Oslo alone accounts for 1,826,569 syringes.

(16) Data on number of syringes in Germany are partial. 2,155,888 syringes we reported in 2011 but refer only to one of 16 Federal Laender (Northrhine-Westphalia). AIDS-Hilfe NRW has started the project 'syringe vending machines now!' in 1989. This is the biggest project nationwide and the only project that works state-wide.

See also 'General notes for interpreting data' on the <a href="http://www.emcdda.europa.eu/stats13/help">Explanatory notes and help page</a>.


Standard tables on 'syringe availability' (ST10) submitted by NFPs.

Reitox National Reports.

For Sweden 2008 data, personal communication NFP 06/04/2010.

For Portugal 2009 data, personal communication NFP 11/05/2011.

For Finland 2010 data, personal communication NFP 01/03/2012.

For Sweden 2010 and 2011 data, personal communication NFP 21/01/2013.

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Page last updated: Thursday, 23 May 2013