What it’s like to run a needle exchange service

The people I see come from all walks of life. The key is getting to know them properly without judgement

By Cilicia Wyman, Harm Minimisation Worker at Addaction Lincoln

Sitting pride of place in my home is a slightly worse for wear old teddy. Most people assume it’s a relic from my childhood, something I can’t part with. In fact, a man who used the needle exchange service I run gave it to me a few years ago.

I used to work with children who have ADHD and this man’s restlessness, trouble focusing on one thing, and tendency towards impulsive behaviour had some of the hallmarks. He was also using an amphetamine to help focus his mind.

I got him into treatment with a key worker and told them about my concerns so they referred him to a specialist. The specialist agreed with me and gave him medication to put his mind at ease. All of sudden the drugs he was using didn’t have the same hold over him. One day he popped back in, bearing the teddy. After a tough day it’s a great reminder of why I do what I do.

Read the full article on Addaction’s Blog.

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This content was created by Addaction, and first appeared on