Here at Tennessee Harm Reduction, our number-one priority is distributing free harm reduction supplies to people who use drugs and their friends and family members. Some of our most popular supplies include:
Option #1 — If You’re in West Tennessee, Come Visit Us in Jackson!
Although we don’t have an office or a permanent physical location, we’re more than willing to meet you somewhere to give you syringes, naloxone, and other harm reduction supplies — always at no cost to you. Follow these steps and our harm reduction supplies can quickly become your harm reduction supplies:
- Visit our local Jackson Facebook page, titled Jackson, TN Harm Reduction.
- Make a supply request by messaging us on our Facebook page.
- We’ll arrange a meeting place — within Jackson city limits is where I prefer to meet you — that we mutually agree upon.
- Upon arrival, we ask you about a dozen simple questions to collect essential data about the impact we’re having on the local community. We never ask for your full name, address, phone number, or any other identifying information.
- After we finish asking questions — which only takes 3 minutes, on average — we hand over your supplies, answer any questions you may have, then go our separate ways. It’s that simple!
Option #2 — If You Live Near Memphis, Nashville, Chattanooga, Knoxville, Johnson City, or Newport, Go to a Local Syringe Exchange
If you live in any of these cities (or Newport), congratulations! There’s at least one syringe exchange in your area.
Use our up-to-date list of syringe exchanges in Tennessee for their addresses, phone numbers, hours of operation, websites, and social media pages. If you’re not fortunate enough to live near a syringe services program, don’t give up — you still have at least three other options left.
Option #3 — If You Don’t Live Near Any Syringe Exchanges, Try Buying Syringes From Pharmacies
Here in the Volunteer State, pharmacists don’t need prescriptions to sell syringes to customers ages 18 and up. However, some pharmacists routinely refuse customers who don’t have prescriptions for insulin syringes, insulin, or other prescription diabetes supplies.
If you get turned down, don’t give up! We recommend visiting small, mom-and-pop pharmacies. In our experience, pharmacists who work for independent pharmacies seem to discriminate against hopeful syringe buyers less often than their big-chain-pharmacy counterparts (e.g., Walgreens, CVS).
Options #4 and #5 — What If You Don’t Live Near Us (Jackson, TN) or a Tennessee Syringe Exchange?
… then what? Here’s the simple answer:
Buy your syringes online via websites such as OTCWholesale.com or DiabetesSupplies4Less.com. Although I haven’t tried OTCWholesale myself — rather, I’ve just heard good things about it — I have used DiabetesSupplies4Less several times with great results.
If you can’t afford to buy your own syringes, consider asking NEXT Distro to mail you supplies — you’ll need to fill out an enrollment application on the organization’s website. I can also vouch for NEXT Distro; they kept me stocked with ample supplies for the better part of three years! There’s no shame in not being able to afford syringes and naloxone yourself.
Even today, I struggle to pay for harm reduction supplies — and I run a stinkin‘ harm reduction program! As such, don’t be scared to ask NEXT Distro for help.
Avoid Buying Syringes From Fellow Drug Users and Dealers if at All Possible
We encourage you not to purchase syringes from people who use or sell drugs. No matter how much you trust someone, there’s no way to guarantee the syringes you buy are sterile. If possible, refuse syringes unless you get them from harm reduction programs (like syringe exchanges), pharmacies, or medical supply stores.
Assume you’re buying dope from someone, you’re pooling your money with theirs to get a better deal, or they’re middling — acting as a middleman, that is — for you. You ask, “Oh, and by the way, do you have a point/sharp/rig/syringe I could get from you?”
That person is incentivized to comply with your request. Most people who use drugs do favors for fellow drug users, as maintaining relationships with fellow members of illicit drug markets is essential to retaining access to that black market — including its drugs and, unfortunately, its syringes.
Since other drug users or dealers may feel pressured to procure syringes for you — if they don’t, you might end up visiting someone else! — they may try cleaning out used syringes and passing them off as clean ones. This has happened to me at least twice… You’d think people would be honest with the only guy who gives out syringes in rural West Tennessee, but I reckon not! You’re always taking a risk of getting used syringes if you rely on other people who use or sell drugs for rigs.
Where Can I Buy Syringes? and Where Can I Get NARCAN®? Here’s a Quick Recap:
- If you live in or near Jackson, get your supplies from us — they’re always 100% free! Visit our Facebook page — Jackson, TN Harm Reduction — and message us there to request supplies. We’ll figure out somewhere within Jackson city limits to deliver your supplies.
- If you’re located in Memphis, Nashville, Chattanooga, Knoxville, Johnson City, or Newport, congratulations! You have local access to a syringe services program. Check out our list of syringe exchanges in Tennessee here for each exchange’s official website, Facebook page, phone number, location, and hours of operation.
- Try buying syringes from local pharmacies. You don’t legally need a prescription to buy them here in Tennessee, though many pharmacists refuse to sell syringes without prescriptions. You may have better luck if you try visiting (1) pharmacies in big cities or (2) small, mom-and-pop pharmacies.
- Apply to have harm reduction supplies mailed to you by reaching out to NEXT Distro, a mail-based safe drug use supply distributor located in New York City. You can find their new client application here.
- Buy syringes online from diabetes supply vendors and medical supply stores. Two of the most popular e-commerce sites to buy syringes from include DiabetesSupplies4Less.com and OTCWholesale.com.