Resources, Services, and Supplies
Services & Supplies
SWAN distributes harm reduction and safer use supplies to people in the Greater New Haven area, free of charge. Additional resources, including Programming (such as Group Therapy sessions), are available for current and former sex workers.
- Narcan®/Naloxone – Opioid Overdose Reversal Kit
- Syringe Exchange
- Safer Sex Supplies
- Fentanyl Test Strips
- Safer Use IDU Kits
- Safer Use Crack Cocaine Smoking Kits
- Additional Supplies
Resources in the Community
Check back here soon for a list of resources and service providers in the Greater New Haven Area.
Check back here soon for some additional resources
Narcan®/Naloxone – Opioid Overdose Reversal Kit
Naloxone, also known by the brand name Narcan, is a safe and effective medication
that can reverse the effects of opioid overdose. It is most often injected into a person
experiencing an overdose. It attaches to the same parts of the brain that receive heroin
and other opioids, and it blocks the opioids for 30-90 minutes to reverse the respiratory
depression that would otherwise lead to death from overdose.
Above information from Naloxoneinfo.org
Syringes – We distribute syringes in 2 sizes: 1cc and 1/2cc. Both sizes come in bags of 10, although members may only want a couple and we can open bags to give out a few at a time. We distribute clean syringes with the hopes that people will use a fresh syringe EVERY time that they use one. Used syringes are not only vectors for blood-borne pathogens, but also dull and splinter each time they are used, leading to further vein damage.
Additionally, SWAN takes syringes off the streets and out of circulation. While we don't stick to a "1-in-1-out" standard, we do encourage members to give us any and all used syringes they have. Discarded syringes can lead to accidental needle-sticks, the passing of blood-borne illness, and carrying used works is a chargeable offense in most states.
Safer Sex Supplies
Safer Sex Supplies are critical to keeping our members and their dates safe. Our safer sex kits each come with 8 - 10 assorted condoms and lube.
Lubed Condoms – These are your basic latex condoms with lubrication. We do not distribute condoms with spermicide or other additives (like nonoxynol-9) as they have the potential for causing allergic reactions in some people; particularly if they have sex often.
Flavored Condoms – These are unlubricated condoms that have a flavor on them (fruit, bubblegum, etc) These condoms are only good for oral sex (blow-jobs, head, etc …).
Dental Dams – Due to budgetary constraints, we do not always carry dental dams. If someone asks for one and we are out, let them know that they can take a condom and cut it up one side so that it lies flat; they can use that in lieu of a standard dental dam.
Lube – We distribute lube in 2 kinds of containers - little ‘pillow’ containers that are easily used multiple times, and the less convenient tear-open container that resembles a condom packet. Both kinds are water-based and are available to those who want or need more slip in their sex. Also, if someone expresses concern about condoms breaking, let them know that a drop of lube inside the tip of the condom before it goes on can help avoid that. It also gives more sensation at the tip of the penis, where it counts most!
Fentanyl Test Strips
Fentanyl Test Strips – Used by people to test their drugs for the presence of Fentanyl and many of its analogues. Fentanyl is between 50 and 100 times more potent than morphine, and its analogues can be many hundreds of times more potent. Because they so much more potent, and therefore much more addictive, Fentanyl and its analogues have been showing up in all kinds of drugs. Fentanyl could be found in heroin, cocaine, crack cocaine, methamphetamine, spice/K2, and possibly even be sprayed onto natural marijuana. We ask that if people find fentanyl present in any of their drugs, that they let us know so that we can help spread the info (useful info to ask for: if fentanyl was found in a stamped bag, which stamp; when and where purchased; what drug; have they ever tested a bag/batch from that source before).
Let people know that they should always test the residue of their intended dose, not the dose itself, as the active tip of these strips contains chemicals that should not be consumed. Advise people to prepare their dose as they normally do, and set aside the blunt, stem, syringe, etc. Next, mix the residue from their preparation with a little sterile water, about a capful (the leftover residue in baggies, cookers, etc should be enough to test). Make sure that the residue dissolves in the water. Next, tear open the test strip package along the perforations and remove, holding only the blue side with the little hand icon. Put the tip of the white side in the water, no higher than the blue printed line. Wait until you start to see the water absorbing up the strip, usually about 15 seconds; then place on a flat surface and wait about 2 minutes. Like pregnancy tests or other dip-stick tests, these test strips will show either 1 or 2 red lines for results. Two (2) lines means that fentanyl or an analogue was NOT detected. One (1) line means that fentanyl or a fentanyl analogue is present in the dose.
Safer Use IDU Kits
Water – Used in the cleaning of equipment and in the preparation of a solid or powder for injection. The cleanest water possible is always recommended for use, as anything in the water will end up in the injection. We distribute sterile, distilled water in small plastic vials.
Alcohol Pads – Used to clean the skin before an injection and before handling equipment. This can also be accomplished with soap and water, but that isn’t always feasible. Alcohol pads are quick and highly portable. One mistake that is often made is an alcohol pad after an injection. This will only cause the site to bleed more, as well as drying the skin, which could lead to higher risk of infection. Only use alcohol pad before an injection. After the injection, use a clean cloth, tissue, or paper towel to stop the bleeding.
Rinse Cap / Cooker – Used to hold a substance during preparation for injection. Folks may use a spoon, bottle cap, or another metal item. We distribute them because they area a necessary part of some injections and should not be shared. Since it is used in the preparation phase, there is a real possibility that it will come into contact with blood, possibly in the past, as they are often used repeatedly and shared.
Cotton – Used as a filter during the process of drawing up liquid into a syringe. the cleanest material is recommended, as dirt from the filter can end up in the injection. Cotton is your best bet: the cleanest, most tightly wound to be safest. The standard for many people is a filter from a cigarette, but that is dangerous for a lot of reasons: fiberglass in the filter, dirt, etc. from smoking, unnatural fibers, etc. Also, when all else fails for some people trying desperately to stave off withdrawal, they may collect used cottons in hopes of finding residue in them. This is also dangerous as any dirt or germs left in the cotton will end up in the shot.
Safer Use Crack Cocaine Smoking Kits
Pyrex Stem – These straight shooter pipes are made out of pyrex, which are much stronger than most available on the street. They are also made to withstand higher temperatures and therefore less likely break from either dropping them or from getting too hot. The sharing of stems and straight shooters, coupled with the potential for mouth sores and burns, raises a person’s risk for transmitting disease or bacteria (especially if they are cracked or broken).
Pipe Holders – In their former life, these rubber holders were spark plug holders. For our purposes, they are intended to act a barrier between a straight shooter or other pipe (particularly used for smoking crack) and the user’s mouth. The rubber holder is placed on the end of the pipe and keeps the heat and possible cracks in a glass shooter from harming the person. Also, if there is only one pipe, the pipe can be passed and each person can use a barrier to avoid sharing bacteria.
Chore Boy – Used as a screen and heating element in the smoking of solid freebase substances, like crack cocaine or meth. Chore is copper wool, marketed as a cleaning product and gets its name from the Chore Boy brand. Packer and Paperclip – Used to prepare and pack the chore into the pipe.
Candy – Frequent smoking of Crack or Meth can lead to chronic dry-mouth. Including a piece of candy or two in the safer use stem kit means that a smoker can keep it in their cheek to promote salivation, alleviating symptoms and making oral sex much easier if they engage in it.
Alcohol Pads - Used to pipes and pipe holders. This can also be accomplished with soap and water, but that isn’t always feasible. Alcohol pads are quick and highly portable.
Condoms - These are your basic latex condoms with lubrication. We do not distribute condoms with spermicide or other additives (like nonoxynol-9) as they have the potential for causing allergic reactions in some people; particularly if they have sex often.
Additional Supplies We Distribute
Tourniquets – Used to raise a vein for a safer injection. A visible vein means less poking and searching to find one, which means less pain, less bruising, and a lower risk of infection. All that means less harm. We distribute elastic ties, because they are stretchy and the more stretchy the material, the less damage to the skin where it is tied. Belts, shoelaces, ropes, etc are unyielding and can bruise the skin.
Alcohol Pads – We also distribute alcohol prep pads as people want them, separate from our pre-made kits.
BZK Pads – Benzalkonium Chloride (BZK) Antiseptic Wipes are an alcohol free, non-sting, hygienic cleansing towelette used to disinfect skin prior to an injection. Some people prefer BZK pads to alcohol because they don’t sting, but still sanitize.
Triple Antibiotic Ointment Packets – These packets contain neomycin, bacitracin, and polymyxin, antibiotics that work by stopping the growth of bacteria. This medication prevents/treats only bacterial skin infections. It will not work for other types of skin infections (e.g., infections caused by fungi, viruses). Used for dressing wounds.