Syringe Possession Laws

When it is illegal to possess syringes under state law, injection drug users (IDUs) are more likely to share or reuse syringes, which can lead to the spread of infectious diseases like HIV/AIDs and other blood-borne diseases. Over time, some states have decriminalized possession of syringes by removing the mention of syringes, explicitly excluding syringes from their criminal drug paraphernalia laws, or allowing very small amounts of residue on syringes possessed by IDUs. Syringe possession policies affect how easy or difficult it can be for IDUs to access sterile syringes. This is a longitudinal dataset, capturing changes in syringe possession laws from July 1, 2012 to July 1, 2017. 

An update to this dataset is currently underway and will be available soon. A related dataset capturing the regulation of Syringe Service Program laws as of August 1, 2019 is availablle here

Quick Facts

Policy Questions