CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Starting this month, a new Charlotte volunteer group is providing sterile syringes to people battling addiction.

  • The Queen City Needle exchange gives out nalaxone, sterile needs and even tourniquets for active drug users.
  • One in five participants of the program go on to receive treatment.
  • Clinic is open Fridays 2-6:30 p.m.

The Queen City Needle Exchange gives out nalaxone, sterile needles, and even tourniquets for active drug users.

Organizers with Center for Prevention Services say the tools help stop spread of disease.

"When it comes to vulnerable populations who are hiding in the shadows, and are afraid to surface and get certain support, it's critical to know that they have the ability to access clean equipment and the resources that a syringe exchange program can provide,” said Lauren Kestner, a prevention specialist with Center for Prevention Services.

She says one in five participants of a syringe exchange program go on to receive treatment. Clients are anonymous and can also dispose of used needles.

"Narcan I think is my favorite thing about the program. It's a life-saving medication that reverses overdoses,” said Cat Nelson, program director for Queen City Needle Exchange – also an addiction survivor. "I've had people come in and I've helped get them into detox and treatment."

The clinic is open Fridays at Carolinas Care Partnership in East Charlotte 2 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Or, you can call or text 980-213-9909.