The vast bulk of Needle and Syringe Programs service sites are known as ‘secondaries’, so called because they receive no direct financial support for their NSP work.

Often they are staffed by people who have little or no previous experience with illicit drug use and therefore need workforce development support.

Penington Institute trainer Crios O’Mahony continues to travel far and wide to support establishment of new services, train staff about NSP basics and more sophisticated skillsets. (Read more)

Crios has recently helped two Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations (ACCHOs) become NSPs. He assisted with the applications and liaises with the Health Department to ensure they are processed as smoothly as possible, before then training the service staff.

Pharmaceutical drug misuse remains a significant issue, and surpasses heroin injection in many regional and rural areas. Recently, a community health service appointed new NSP managers who had not previously worked in this area. Crios trained the new managers in the principles of harm minimisation, NSP service systems and the technical aspects of wheel filters, which are very important for people who inject crushed pharmaceutical opioids.

Another rural service had a problem with the disposal of used injecting equipment from clients. New staff did not have a monitoring system or know to have them emptied by external contracting agencies. Crios travelled to the service and helped them establish  an integrated safe disposal strategy.