Characteristics of Syringe Exchange Program [SEP] Participants in Sweden
"Last year syringe sharing has occurred in a total of 37 per cent of SEP-users and during the last month in 19 per cent. IDUs [Injection Drug Users] integrated into mainstream society, but not in the subculture, have significantly lower numbers than the rest, 29 per cent and 8 per cent respectively. Most IDUs had previously received some form of drug treatment, a total of 75 per cent.
"The average visitor participates in the programme for four years, does 50 visits and collects 200 syringes and 400 needles. The variations are however large. About half of the visitors have visited the clinic at any time without changing needles and syringes or using any other regular service. These visits seem to be of an informal social nature.
"Syringe and needle coverage was based on interview data on injection patterns during the last year. From the register the number of distributed needles and syringes was then obtained. Ratios of total syringes coverage was estimated at 15 per cent and 30 per cent for needles. Frequent users (> 100 visits) has a ratio for syringes of 21 per cent and for needles 44 per cent. Those who in the last year had not shared injecting equipment with others had a ratio of syringes of 17 per cent and for needles 34 per cent. The corresponding figures for those who had shared equipment with other were 11 per cent and 22 per cent.
"Nearly 60 per cent of SEP-users had some form of treatment experience before they joined the exchange programme. More than 40 per cent had received some form of treatment while in the programme, but of those, only 8 per cent had no previous treatment experience. Just over a third had never received treatment for their drug
use (Stenström, 2008)."
Swedish National Institute of Public Health, 2011 National Report (2010 data) to the EMCDDA by the Reitox National Focal Point, “Sweden: New Development, Trends and in-depth information on selected issues" (Lisbon, Portugal: EMCDDA, Nov. 2012), p. 63.