Northwest Ohio Syringe Services Celebrates its Second Year of Service
Today marks the second year of service for Northwest Ohio Syringe Services (NOSS). Syringe Service Programs (SSP) provide anonymous syringe exchange to prevent the spread of HIV and viral Hepatitis, primarily serving people who inject drugs. SSPs are required, by law, to provide HIV and Hepatitis C testing, education, and referral. NOSS is also required to offer referral to substance abuse treatment. NOSS provides these services, along with unrestricted syringes and injection supplies, Narcan training and kits, fentanyl test strips, and biohazard containers. Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) are offered through Motivational Interviewing performed by the NOSS staff.
In total, 336 unduplicated participants have visited NOSS. Secondary exchange has expanded over the last year, allowing one person to pick up syringes and injection supplies for several others in their using network. Providing unrestricted syringe access is best practice, which has increased syringe distribution from 19,578 in Year One, to 94,687 throughout Year Two. NOSS has also seen an increase in syringe collection; 10,087 syringes returned in year one, and 45,580 returned in year two.
NOSS continues to screen for human trafficking as a Partners against the Trafficking of Humans (PATH) agency. Over the last year, NOSS has experienced an increase in pregnancy testing and prenatal care referrals. NOSS has expanded the distribution of safer sex supplies to include female condoms.
Fentanyl test strip distribution has almost tripled over the last year. NOSS distributed 473 Narcan kits. This year, participants have reported being the first responders to 156 opioid overdoses, tooled with Narcan provided by NOSS; which more than doubled from year one. New partnerships with the Lucas County Sheriff’s Office have led to expanded Narcan distribution through the Lucas County Corrections Center and the Drug Abuse Response Team (DART).
NOSS continues to provide Harm Reduction services from the following fixed locations, 6 hours a week:
St. Paul’s United Methodist Church Talbot Clinical Services, Inc.
1201 Madison Ave. 732 Main St.
Toledo, OH 43604 Toledo, OH 43604
Tuesdays, 1-4 p.m. Thursdays, 1-4 p.m.
NOSS is excited to announce a third fixed location for Syringe Services. The new location, First Unitarian Church of Toledo, in South Toledo, is tentatively scheduled to start providing services on Wednesday, September 4, 2019.
For additional information, please call the NOSS line at 419.213.2655 or visit www.lucascountyhealth.com/syringe-services.
Opioid Addiction Hotline
If you or someone you love has an addiction to pain medications, is using these medications in a way that puts them at risk of addiction, or has an addiction to other substances there IS help available.
- HELPLINE: Call 1-877-275-6364 for information about addiction and to get a referral to treatment or visit www.emeraldjennyfoundation.org
If you or someone you love is having a mental health crisis or is in need of someone to talk to you can text for help.
- CRISIS TEXT LINE: Text 4hope to 741741 and a trained crisis counselor will text you within five minutes to confidentially assist
Signs of Overdose
Signs of overdose include the following:
- No response when you shake the person or call their name
- Not breathing
- Slow or shallow breathing (less than one breath every six seconds)
- Pinpoint pupils
- No response when you shake the person or rub their sternum with your knuckles
- Choking, snoring, or gurgling sounds
- Blue, grey, or ashen lips and fingernails
- Slow, irregular pulse
- No pulse