Bendigo Community Health Services has participated in the national Needle and Syringe Program (NSP) since its inception in the 1980s.

Funded through the Victorian Department of Health, the program enables intravenous drug users to access clean injecting equipment and safe disposal bins free of charge.

BCHS Reception sites at Central, Eaglehawk and Kangaroo Flat are the access points for clients during business hours.

After hours, through the Mobile Drug Safety Outreach service, clients in Bendigo are able to have NSP equipment delivered to them between 7.30-11pm on Tuesdays-Saturdays inclusive. 

Through these services BCHS offers anonymous and confidential one-on-one support to clients, education about safer using, advice about general health and well-being, and referral to other services including alcohol and drug services. 

BCHS also provides drug and alcohol education to other health professionals and the wider community.

To enhance this service provision, and leveraging funds provided through the Victorian Department of Health in one of its Covid19 responses, BCHS has now acquired and installed Syringe Dispensing Units at its Eaglehawk and Kangaroo Flat sites. 

Syringe Dispensing units operate in the same way as other vending machines – except our machines do not require clients to make any payment for the products the units dispense. 

The units are located at the entry to the Pharmacotherapy clinic at Kangaroo Flat, and at the entrance to the main door for access to Reception services at Eaglehawk. Apart from the convenience these units offer, the fact that they are accessible 24/7 adds greatly to the safety of Intravenous drug users in our region. 

There will be no change to the existing facilities for clients seeking NSP stock – all sites and the Mobile Drug Safety Outreach service will continue to operate as usual.

Useful links: 

How to access the Needle Syringe Program 

BCHS Alcohol & Other Drug Services available