US Surgeon General's Determination of Effectiveness of Syringe Exchange Programs
"SSPs [Syringe Service Programs] are widely considered to be an effective way of reducing HIV transmission among individuals who inject illicit drugs and there is ample evidence that SSPs also promote entry and retention into treatment (Hagan, McGough, Thiede, et al., 2000, Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 19, 247-252). According to research that tracks individuals in treatment over extended periods of time, most people who get into and remain in treatment can reduce or stop using illegal or dangerous drugs. In addition to promoting entry to treatment, there are studies that document injection reductions for drug users who participate in SSPs. Hagan, et al., found that, not only were new SSP participants five times more likely to enter drug treatment than non-SSP participants, former SSP participants were more likely to report significant reduction in injection, to stop injecting altogether, and to remain in drug treatment. A summary of the research on SSPs is available at http://www.samhsa.gov/?ssp.
"The Surgeon General of the United States Public Health Service has therefore determined that a demonstration syringe services program would be effective in reducing drug abuse and the risk that the public will become infected with the etiologic agent for acquired immune deficiency syndrome."
(Note: The HHS research summary on SSPs was moved to http://archive.samhsa.gov/ssp/, last accessed January 30, 2017.)
Sebelius, Kathleen, Secretary of Health and Human Services, "Determination That a Demonstration Needle Exchange Program Would be Effective in Reducing Drug Abuse and the Risk of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome Infection Among Intravenous Drug Users," Federal Register, February 23, 2011, Vol. 76, No. 36, p. 10038.