The Safe Works Access Program (SWAP) is a needle distribution service offered by the AIDS Committee of Newfoundland and Labrador (ACNL). It is a health promotion and education service for people who use drugs (PWUD). SWAP believes that all people are deserving of respect and are responsible for making their own choices in life. We recognize that poverty, social class, racism, homophobia, heterosexism, social isolation, past trauma and other inequities have an impact on both people’s vulnerability to, and capacity for effectively dealing with high risk behavior(s).

Working from harm reduction and public health perspectives, SWAP strives to meet people where they are. The goal is to reduce negative consequences of a particular behavior, rather than requiring that the behavior change/stop. This approach may result in the eventual reduction of the behavior itself. Any positive change driven by service users is considered harm reduction. This approach requires openness, authenticity and a non-judgmental perspective.

SWAP strives to support individuals who have difficulty or reluctance accessing the health and human services by developing relationships with service users, then facilitating the accessing of required external health and human services. Providing people with accurate information, compassion and support can enable them to make informed choices about their own health care. These aims are better achieved when people are directly involved in decisions that affect their lives, and in the planning and delivery of service provision.

Call 811 in your area and be directed to where you can receive a kit and training free of charge.