New syringe service program brings support to greater Franklin County communities

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The Healthy Community Coalition’s Mobile Health Unit set up for the syringe exchange.

FARMINGTON – A new safe syringe exchange program is now available for residents of Greater Franklin County. The Franklin County Syringe Exchange (FCSE), a collaboration between the Healthy Community Coalition (HCC), a program of MaineHealth, and the Rural Addiction Care Expansion (RACE) to Recovery Consortium, is dedicated to the safety and well-being of community members who use drugs. Operating independently of law enforcement, the syringe exchange provides a compassionate, non-judgmental environment for support and guidance.

The FCSE’s philosophy prioritizes harm reduction, safety, education, and community support. It aims to minimize the negative consequences of drug use and foster a supportive environment for positive change.

The syringe exchange operates at two locations:

1. Healthy Community Coalition Office, 105 Mt. Blue Circle, Suite 1, Farmington. Open on the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of the month from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

2. Strong Mobile Health Unit Satellite Site, 78 North Main Street, Strong. Open on the 2nd and last Wednesday of the month from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Services provided by the FCSE include one-for-one needle exchanges, free clean supplies for safer drug use, STI/HIV/HEP C testing and referrals, safer sex products and education, harm reduction counseling, referrals to medical, mental health, and substance abuse treatment, and overdose prevention education and resources. To access these services, individuals must register as a member of the syringe exchange in compliance with the Maine state law. Membership is open to individuals aged 18 and above and residing in the State of Maine.

Sarah Mulcahey, HCC program management specialist, states, “We commend the courage of those taking steps towards a healthier lifestyle and remain dedicated to supporting them every step of the way.”

For more information about the Franklin County Syringe Exchange and its services, visit the Healthy Community Coalition office at 105 Mt. Blue Circle, Suite 1, Farmington, ME 04938, or call 207-778-1015.

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