The Smart Gear program has been operating in Leeds, Grenville and Lanark since 2005. The program provides clients with free and confidential services from 11 sites across the Tri-County area.
What Does the Smart Gear Program Offer?
Our Smart Gear program provides people who inject drugs with a variety of free and confidential services.
Equipment and Equipment Return
Our needle syringe program provides clients with sterile equipment for injection drug use.
The links below describe each piece of equipment and best practices;
All Smart Works sites encourage safe disposal of used needles. Our clients can bring their sharps back to any of the Smart Works sites, or use our black boxes to return used needles. They are located outside the Brockville, Smiths Falls and Almonte Health Unit sites, as well as in Lower Reach Park in Smiths Falls (main parking lot off Jasper Ave.)
Education and Information
Our Smart Works sites are staffed by health professionals who provide education and resources to clients. Clients can find resources on Hepatitis C, HIV, safer sex, overdose prevention, safer injecting, local community agencies, and current information in our quarterly Headspace Newsletters.
Referrals and Counselling:
Some of the referral services we can provide to our clients are; first aid treatment, vaccination referrals, Hepatitis C and HIV testing and counselling, primary health care, methadone maintenance treatment, Revive Program and mental health and social services referrals among many others.
The Smart Gear program has seen an increase in the number of clients accessing the program for sterile steroid injection supplies. We provide equipment and education that minimizes harm from Hepatitis C, HIV and other potential infections.
What equipment do I need for injection?
- A sterile 2-3ml syringe
- Two sterile needles; one to draw up the solution and one to inject the drug into your muscle
- An 18-23 gauge 1-1 ½ needle to draw up
- A 21-25 gauge 1-1 ½ needle to inject
- Alcohol swabs
- Biohazard container
Fact: 2ml of fluid is the maximum amount that should be injected into a muscle. Abscesses may form if injecting any more than 2mls (Ottawa Public Health, 2013).
Can I get HIV or Hepatitis C from injecting steroids?
You can be infected by Hepatitis C and/or HIV if you share needles. Hep C and HIV are spread through blood-blood contact.
Where should I put my used needles?
All used needles should be put in a biohazard bin. It is unsafe to throw needles in the garbage.
Steroid facts and tips from Ottawa Public Health Anabolic Steroids Pamphlet
The Pamphlet covers information on:
- Where to inject
- How to draw up
- Side effects
- Steroid safety
- Steps for safer injecting
- Risks (such as abscesses, hitting a nerve and Hep C/HIV)
Ottawa Public Health Steroids Pamphlet source