Needle & Syringe Program
Responsive User Services in Health Northern Sydney Local Health District

Safer injecting

Drug Warning: Fentanyl and acetylfentanyl have been found in heroin in central Sydney in January 2021. These drugs were also found in regional NSW and Sydney during November and December 2020.

Heroin may contain dangerously strong opioids like fentanyl, no matter what it looks like. However, there have been recent reports of heroin containing fentanyl and acetylfentanyl that turns purple when mixed with water.

Acetylfentanyl and fentanyl are both highly potent opioids and even small doses can cause overdose and even death very quickly.


Whether you’re injecting heroin, speed or steroids, using new equipment every time you inject is doing yourself a huge favour. As well as keeping yourself as safe as possible from blood-borne viruses like Hep C and HIV, you’re reducing the chance of contracting other infections like staph and endocarditis. You’re also taking better care of your veins.

There’s a huge amount of information already online – from safer injecting techniques to drug advocacy in the community.

The AIVL Vein Care Guide
A comprehensive guide to looking after your veins, and how good vein care can help you avoid blood borne viruses such as Hep C.

NUAA: Safer Injecting
A clear step-by-step guide to safer intravenous injecting. Includes specific tips for heroin, methodone and methamphetamine.

Substances overview
A comprehensive guide to substances and their effects, Your Room’s drug A–Z is a great place to start looking for clean, unbiased information about various illicit pills and powders.

Community resources


By users, for users. The Australian Injecting and Illicit Drug Users League (AIVL) is a peer-based organisation for people who use or have used illicit drugs.

Visit or call 02 6279 1600


The NSW Users & AIDS Association’s (NUAA) is a not-for-profit NSW-based organisation advocating for people who use drugs, particularly those who inject drugs.

Visit or call 1800 644 413.


A 7 day, 24 hour service, the Alcohol Drug Information Service (ADIS) NSW provides support, information, advice, crisis counselling and referral to services in NSW.

Call 02 9361 8000 (Sydney) or free call 1800 422 599 (for NSW regional and rural callers).


The Sydney Medically Supervised Injecting Centre (MSIC) recognises that drug addiction is a chronic, relapsing condition and that it is complex and difficult to treat. MSIC does not support or promote drug use; it simply acknowledges that it is a fact of life.

Visit or call 02 9360 1191.

Clinic 16

Clinic16 offers a variety of specialised services on Sydney's North Shore, including:
• Sexual Health   • HIV Services   • Viral Hepatitis Clinic

Visit or call 02 9462 9500


Support and advice for young people, parents and families, the Manly Drug Education and Counselling Centre (MDECC) has an extensive range of programs. All programs aim to enhance mental health and wellbeing, and reduce the harms associated with drug and alcohol use.

Visit or call 02 9977 0711.


A community based, non profit state-wide organisation, Twenty10 works with and supports young people of diverse genders, sexes and sexualities, their families and friends.



ACON is NSW's and Australia's largest community-based gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) health and HIV/AIDS organisation. Their mission is to improve the health and wellbeing of the GLBT community and people withg HIV, and to reduce HIV transmission.

Visit or call 02 9206 2000.

Hepatitis Helpline - Hepatitis NSW

A statewide information, support and advocacy service for people affected by viral hepatitis. Confidential and non-judgemental, Hepatitis NSW's phone, web and face-to-face services offer info and support from workers and peers.
Call 1800 803 990 (freecall) or visit


Providing confidential telephone counselling for over 50 years. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Visit or call 13 11 14.


DrugInfo is a service provided by the Australian Drug Foundation that offers information about alcohol and other drugs, and the prevention of related harms.