Syringe Distribution Laws

Historically, state laws have created barriers that make it difficult for injection drug users (IDUs) to access sterile syringes by criminalizing distribution and possession of those syringes. IDUs are more likely to share syringes in states with restrictive laws, which can lead to the spread of blood-borne diseases such as HIV/AIDS. Syringe distribution policies affect how easy or difficult it will be for IDUs to access sterile syringes. As awareness of this public health issue has increased, many states have amended their laws to remove barriers to access. This is a longitudinal dataset, capturing changes in syringe distribution laws from July 1, 2012 to July 1, 2017.

A more comprehensive look at Syringe Services Program Laws, updated as of August 1, 2021 is available here

Quick Facts

Policy Questions