Pursuant to the decisions of the National Committee on Drugs, NAAC has initiated the installation of automatic harm reduction box delivery machines, in cooperation with the Ministry of Health. The aim of the project is to provide users with easy access to harm reduction kits to reduce the risks associated with injecting psychoactive substances. The use of these specific harm reduction tools can reduce the spread of infectious diseases and in particular Hepatitis C virus (HCV), HIV and other health risks arising from the shared or repeated use of syringes and other injectable tools. This measure is expected to provide easier access to sterile needles and syringes, as they will be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and will provide for some degree of anonymity regarding access to the material.
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The machines were installed in the 5 districts:
The machine, in its first pilot phase, includes: sterile syringes/needles, alcohol-soaked wipes, condoms, and a form including harm reduction tips. It works only with the use of a token, which the stakeholders can acquire free of charge from:
It is noted that each stakeholder will have his/her own token, which, after its placement in the machine and the supply of the material, will be automatically returned, so that it can be reused. Therefore, stakeholders will not have to constantly visit the token provision units. Each machine has a built-in (on the side) used syringe disposal basket, too.
This action is a preliminary measure, aimed at preventing a possible outbreak of infectious diseases, a phenomenon that has been observed in other European countries, resulting in the loss of human lives, as well as the avoidance of post-hoc measures, which are usually less effective and more costly.