Catholic Charities to give syringes to drug users

An $83,000 custom van will be stocked with syringes and other medical supplies intended to reduce the risk of infection spread by sharing contaminated needles and unsanitary injection methods.

The van will be parked in the city’s South End and Arbor Hill neighborhoods, closest to where police believe injection drug use is most prevalent.

Project Safe Point is based on 17 similar needle exchange programs in cities across the state, including Binghamton, Ithaca, Rochester, Buffalo and New York City. It will be a first for the Capital Region and is believed to be the only one of its kind in the nation sponsored by Catholic Charities.