The 'Clean Needle Program', operated by the Drug and Alcohol Services South Australia, commenced in 1989. Pharmacy programs in South Australia for distributing needles and syringes commenced in the early 1990s. South Australia has 81 NSPs, consisting of one primary outlet, 69 secondary outlets and 11 enhanced secondary outlets. There are over 170 pharmacies that sell needles and syringes on a commercial basis. Primary and secondary outlets are based in metropolitan Adelaide and in rural areas. Some outreach services are also provided. Disposal facilities are provided at all community NSP sites, most pharmacies and some local councils also provide disposal facilities.

  • Number of NSPs - 81 (plus pharmacies)
  • Syringes distributed 1999-2008 - 31,569,283
  • Average syringes per year - 3,156,928
  • Total spending 2007/8 - $1,536,115
The proportion of Australian IDUs that are in South Australia has remained relatively steady. The number of needles and syringes distributed through NSPs in South Australia increased during 2002-2004 but has started to decline in recent years (see Figure 44). The average frequency of injecting by IDUs in South Australia has remained steady but sharing rates have tended to increase slightly. Despite this, the prevalence of HCV among South Australian IDUs has been steady, with a slight tendency for a decrease which is in contrast to most other jurisdictions. The incidence of HIV has remained relatively low among South Australian IDUs.

In 2007/8, 2,763,030 sterile injection equipment units were provided in South Australia: 20% were distributed through secondary sites with 63% of these through enhanced secondary sites. 241,900 needles and syringes were distributed through pharmacies. Pharmacists charge an average of $5-$10 per five-pack out-of-pocket costs. The number of NSP sites in South Australia is listed in Table 26. Table 27 reports the spending by financial year in 2008 dollars, unadjusted and adjusted for the consumer price index (CPI).Top of page

Figure 44: Number of needles and syringes distributed in South Australia (1999-2008)

Text equivalent below for Figure 44: Number of needles and syringes distributed in South Australia (1999-2008)
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Text version of Figure 44

Figures in this description are approximate as they have been read from the graph.

Number of syringes distributed in South Australia:
  • 1999 - 2,900,000
  • 2000 - 2,900,000
  • 2001 - 2,900,000
  • 2002 - 3,350,000
  • 2003 - 3,200,000
  • 2004 - 3,800,000
  • 2005 - 3,700,000
  • 2006 - 3,100,000
  • 2007 - 3,000,000
  • 2008 - 2,600,000

Table 26: Number of NSP sites in South Australia

Primary Secondary Enhanced secondary
2007/8
1
69
11
2006/7
1
67
9
2005/6
1
65
6
2004/5
1
64
6
2003/4
1
66
6
2002/3
1
66
5
2001/2
1
65
5
2000/1
1
63
5
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Table 27: Summary of expenditure on NSPs in South Australia (2000/1-2007/8)

2000/12001/22002/32003/42004/52005/62006/72007/8
Consumables - sterile injecting equipment ($'000)
494
456
501
504
430
489
405
401
Consumables - disposal equipment ($'000)
253
233
256
109
260
260
274
227
Consumables - safe sex packs ($'000)
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
Consumables sub-total ($'000)
747
690
757
613
690
749
679
629
NSP support - primary NSP operations ($'000)
182
216
215
215
215
215
215
215
NSP support - support for secondary NSPs ($'000)
147
309
370
322
388
661
386
637
NSP support - transport ($'000)
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
NSP support - vending machines ($'000)
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
NSP support sub-total ($'000)
329
526
585
537
603
877
601
853
Total (unadjusted for CPI) ($'000)
1,077
1,216
1,342
1,150
1,294
1,625
1,280
1,482
Total (adjusted for CPI) ($'000)
1,361
1,490
1,597
1,337
1,466
1,792
1,367
1,536
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