Information about vending machines

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.

To see the poster, click on the link.

The machines were installed in the 5 districts:

  • Nicosia District: Old Nicosia Hospital (behind Outpatient Clinics)
  • Limassol District: Old Limassol Hospital (near the ambulance base)
  • Larnaca District: Old Larnaca Hospital (near the Sanitary)
  • Famagusta District: Famagusta Health Centre (at the entrance)
  • Paphos District: Outdoor space at Paphos General Hospital (near the Department of First Aid).

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:

  • Substitution Program "GEFYRA", Mental Health Services of Ministry of Health (Athalassa Hospital, tel.: 22402194/22402130)
  • Substitution Program "SOSIVIO", Mental Health Services of Ministry of Health (Old Limassol Hospital, tel.: 25305111 Hospital Office/Mental Support Office 25305077)
  • Larnaca Substitution Unit "DIAVASI", Mental Health Services of Ministry of Health (Old Larnaca Hospital, tel.: 24828795)
  • Paphos Substitutes Unit "STROFI", Mental Health Services of Ministry of Health (Pafos General Hospital, tel.: 26803144/26803174)
  • Famagusta Substitutes Unit "EPISTROFI", Mental Health Services of Ministry of Health (Famagusta Health Centre, tel.: 23815078/23815089)
  • Direct Access and Harm Reduction Centre "STOHOS" - Cyprus Anti-Drug Association and Nursing Services of the Ministry of Health (Marias Sygklitikis 1, 1011 Nicosia, tel.: 22460077)
  • Veresies Clinic (5 Mesaorias Avenue, Pyla 7081, tel.: 70000659, 24645333)
  • Psychological Rehabilitation Program "Kimonas", "MEDITERRANEAN PREVENTION CENTRES" (5 Mesaorias Avenue, Pyla 7081, tel.: 24645333)
  • Open treatment community of addicts "I TOLMI", Paphos (Metropolitan Properties Ag. Anargyroi, Apartment 3, Agapinoros Avenue, 8049 Paphos, tel.: 26941919)
  • "ITHAKI" Prevention and Counseling Station (4 Eleftherias str., Pera Chorio, 2571 Nicosia, tel.: 22524826)
  • ACHILLEAS” Counselling Station (Archbishop Makarios III No. 18, Thea Complex, 5510 Avgorou Street, tel.: 23923232)
  • Cyprus National Addictions Authority, (130 Limassol Avenue, 4th floor, 2015 Strovolos, Nicosia, tel.: 22442966).

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.

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