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Harm Reduction Supply Program - Launch of Paper Straws

August 11, 2021

BCCDC Harm Reduction Services is pleased to announce that paper straws are now available through the provincial harm reduction program for ordering by registered harm reduction sites.

Key Messages:

  • Straws can be used for snorting crushed/powdered drugs or inhaling vapour from heating drugs on foil
  • Straws are single use and should be disposed of after use
  • Straws should not be shared or reused

Reducing Transmission of viruses and bacteria:

  • When a drug is snorted, it comes into contact with the lining of the nasal cavity; the drug itself can cause the blood vessels to dilate and rupture  
  • Blood from cuts or tears in the nasal passages can be transferred onto the device used for snorting/inhaling vapours and can transmit blood-borne viruses if shared
  • To prevent the spread of blood-borne viruses (e.g. hepatitis C) and bacteria such as S. aureus (e.g. MRSA) people should use their own straws and dispose of them after use
  • Straws reduce the use of rigid devices including cracked and broken glass tubes which may cause scratches to the inside of the nose when snorting drugs or inhaling vapour 

Product Information and Guidance:

  • The paper straws are 3.5 inches and biodegradable and intended for single use and should not be re-used
  • Straws are available in four colours: yellow, green, orange, and blue.
  • Different coloured straws can reduce risk of unintentionally using another person’s straw
  • Sites can order individual colours in bags of 250. Bags of mixed colours are not available.
  • Straws can be provided to individuals as requested so a new straw can be used each time

Ordering:

Additional Resources:

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