BCCS Expands Syringe Exchange Program to Kent and Sussex Counties


BCCS Expands Syringe Exchange Program to Kent and Sussex Counties

March 31, 2017 – Brandywine Counseling and Community Services (BCCS) enthusiastically announces the expansion of its Syringe Services Program (SSP) to Kent and Sussex counties. With funding from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and support from the Delaware Department of Health (DPH), BCCS now can offer SSP services to substance abusers ages 14+ in Dover and Seaford via its Community Outreach Prevention Education (COPE) mobile health clinics.

The SSP saves individuals struggling with the disease of addiction from exposure to infectious diseases by giving them new sterile syringes in exchange for used ones. By preventing the sharing of syringes, SSP reduces the spread of HIV and Hepatitis C.

The new program in Kent and Sussex counties, begins Monday, April 3, 2017, and will continue to be offered each Monday thereafter. In Dover, John Wesley Church at 211 West Division St. will accommodate the BCCS COPE mobile health clinic to host the SSP program from 2p.m. to 4 p.m. In Seaford, the Ace Seaford at 547 N. Bradford St. will host the mobile clinic from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Studies by the National Institute of Health (NIH) show that SSPs reduce syringe sharing and the subsequent spread of HIV by 30% - 70%. Delaware has one of the highest rates of newly diagnosed HIV/AIDS cases in the U.S. And the number of HIV/AIDS cases in Delaware caused by syringe sharing is estimated at 36% - more than twice the national average. Studies show that SSPs also encourage substance users to seek drug abuse treatment and recovery.

“The Syringe Services Program provides support, offers hope and saves lives,” says Dr. Lynn Fahey – BCCS CEO.  “Safe use and treatment options are discussed with every interaction. Through syringe exchange, BCCS is protecting users and communities from the spread of infectious diseases. The program saves lives. Now, thankfully, we can save more lives in lower Delaware.”

The syringe exchange program also saves money. Treating one HIV-positive person costs $618,000 over the course of his or her lifetime.

"SSP saves Delaware millions of dollars each year by preventing the spread of infectious diseases,” adds Fahey. “It also reduces federal and private health care costs.”

In addition to syringe exchange services, the COPE program offers other wellness services, including: HIV and HEP C testing; referral services; counseling; and overdose education.

“There is conclusive scientific evidence that syringe services programs, as part of a comprehensive HIV prevention strategy, are an effective public health intervention that reduces the transmission of HIV and does not encourage the use of illegal drugs.” – David Satcher, former U.S. Surgeon General.

BCCS is a welcoming and innovative organization that strengthens communities and enhances their quality of life by creatively providing Education, Early Intervention, Criminal Justice, Treatment and Prevention services. With integrity, we promote hope and empowerment to persons and families touched by mental health, substance abuse, HIV and multiple occurring diagnoses and their related challenges.

BCCS is Delaware’s largest provider of addiction services, serving more than 6,500 clients at five locations statewide. For more information, please visit brandywinecounseling.org.

Contact: Julie Hammersley, jhammersley@brandywinecounseling.org P: 302-504-5889 M: 302-588-6991

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