NEED's central function is to make sure that a steady supply of clean syringes is made available to any and all in need, with the goal being to reduce the spread of HIV and Hepatitis C commonly associated with sharing used syringes. That said, we are consistently looking to expand the scope of our work by offering practical and effective services to people who have few options when seeking health care. Below you can learn more about the services we provide and some of the projects that we work on.
Harm Reduction Supplies
At NEED's three sites you'll find an ample supply of the following:
- 27g 5/8" 1cc ("longs")
- 27g 1/2" 1cc
- 28g 1/2" 1cc ("microfines" or "shorts")
- 28g 1/2" 1/2cc ("Lo-Dose")
- 29g 1/2" 1cc
- 30g 1/2" 1cc
- 31g 3/8" 1cc ("bee stingers")
- Muscling rigs:
- 27g 1/4"
- Safe injection supplies:
- Ties (tourniquets) -- latex and non-latex
- Biohazard containers
- Alcohol pads
- Sterile water and saline
- Other supplies:
- Ascorbic acid (vitamin C, "breakdown")
- Hygiene kits
If there's a supply you don't see, just ask; we might have it!
Note: This a list of supplies NEED typically offers at its sites. Although we try our best to keep everything in stock, occasionally, we run out of supplies.
Preventing an overdose is essential knowledge for anyone using injection drugs. We aim to educate users and staff alike on the basics of overdose prevention, including the use of naloxone to reverse the effect of an opiate overdose.
Following the passage of AB 635 (Civil Code § 1714.22) in January 2014, NEED is proud to announce that it distributes Naloxone for overdose prevention at all of its sites.
Information & Referrals
At each site we have available information on a variety of providers offering services pertinent to exchange users and community members, including HIV/AIDS testing and prevention; STD testing and education; and addiction programs.
Hepatitis C care and treatment
Visit NEED on Tuesdays from 4-6 p.m. for the following on-site medical services:
- Hepatitis C testing
- Walk-ins welcome
- Rapid test for antibodies
- Get results within 20 minutes
- Follow-up hep C testing, as needed
- Confirmatory testing (for the virus)
- Genotype testing
- Access to the NEW hepatitis C treatment medications
- No more Interferon!
- Just one pill a day
- Only 12 weeks
- Side effects are rare and very mild
- Over 90% cure rate
Dr. Diana Sylvestre, M.D., a hepatitis C specialist and the director of Oakland's OASIS Clinic, provides these services at our Tuesday needle exchange site.
Located inside The Long Haul (rear section): 3124 Shattuck Ave. (cross street is Woolsey St.) Berkeley, CA 94705 Tuesdays, 4-6 p.m. (get there before 5:45 to see Dr. Sylvestre)
Bring your health insurance card if you have one. If you have recently tested positive for hepatitis C, bring your test result documentation, if you have any. It also helps if you bring the phone number of any provider who has ordered tests related to your hepatitis C status.
Help with Medi-Cal Enrollment at Homeless Action Center
Are you eligible for Medi-Cal health benefits, but not yet enrolled? Visit the Homeless Action Center (HAC) for assistance with enrolling in Medi-Cal online. HAC in Berkeley is located next store to NEED's Tuesday exchange.
Click here for the Homeless Action Center's Berkeley location and its hours.
Let the staff at HAC know you are interested in enrolling in Medi-Cal so you can get hepatitis C treatment services through NEED.
(Note that the Homeless Action Center does NOT provide syringes.)