The Needle Exchange Program operates three fixed sites at:
  • ANKORS office in Nelson
  • New Denver Health Center
Serge Popoff, the Needle Exchange coordinator runs a mobile service through out the Kootenay Boundary region on a monthly schedule. Please call (250)777-0733.

ANKORS is looking for other agencies, organizations or health service providers to be trained by ANKORS staff in Harm Reduction and Prevention techniques to safely provide Needle Exchange services that operate as a volunteer Needle Exchange Fixed Site in communities of the West Kootenay and Boundary region.

The ANKORS Needle Exchange Program has become part of a comprehensive approach to the prevention of HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis B & C and other harms associated with the use of drugs. It is an integral and vital component of the effort to stem the spread of HIV/AIDS, Hep B & C and other harms associated with risky behaviour.


Program History

Since it's inauguration in August 1998, the ANKORS Needle Exchange Program has made substantial changes; primarily in it's mobile unit operation. In addition to providing service to the more isolated people in the region who inject drugs, the Needle Exchange Coordinator is now doing more street outreach including:
  • Visiting people's homes.
  • Talking to people on the street, both drug users and those at risk of harm.
  • Attending raves and other events.
  • Actively working to find new pockets of drug use within different populations.
We also continue to develop community within the IV drug using population by fostering a sense of responsibility, a sense of personal power by networking together to make change and facilitating peer education. Within the broader community, we continue our efforts in education and myth busting.

Needle Exchange

ANKORS West Kootenay Boundary Regional Office
Needle Exchange Hours:
9 – 12pm and 1 – 4pm Monday to Thursday.
NX Outreach
Serge Popoff – Needle Exchange Coordinator
Contact: | cell: 250-777-0733
An important component of community building is reaching out and networking with those affected by drug use. This includes those that use drugs, family and loved ones, businesses in our communities and the communities at large. Community building helps minimize risk and harms associated with the use of drugs.
ANKORS East Kootenay Regional Office
Needle Exchange Hours:
Tuesdays and Thursdays 2 - 4pm
NX Outreach
Info on needle exchange outreach for East Kootenays coming soon.
Inquiries - Ph: (250)426-3383 |
Harm Reduction Supplies are also available through Mental Health and Addiction Services in Trail, Castlegar, and Nelson, Pharmasave in Grand Forks, and at all public health offices in the Kootenay Boundary region.
Intravenous Drug Use A Major Issue.
Contrary to popular opinion, intravenous drug use is a major issue in our rural areas. However, due to fear, ignorance and lack of understanding in our communities, many people who use drugs are being pushed into the very shadows of our beautiful region. In effect, this puts people at serious risk of overdosing, contracting illness such as Hep C and HIV/AIDS, which in turn puts everyone at risk. This lack of understanding is a serious barrier to accessing medical help. Because people are shamed they often do not access services that they desperately need because they are too ashamed to admit that they are using drugs.
"Needle Exchange"

On the other side of this, help may not be offered and when it is, often not willingly or adequately given. The withholding of necessary services is sometime a punitive measure, in order to 'teach' the drug using person a 'lesson'. Unfortunately, these types of 'lessons' ultimately teach people to be afraid of accessing services, to avoid doctors, mental health practitioners or schools and eventually lead to death.

Because of this stigma, we continue our work to educate the public about drug use and issues relating to drug use. We assist people in seeing the 'person behind the drug addict'. This, in turn, creates an atmosphere more amenable to drug using people seeking medical help or seeking ways to live a healthy lifestyle. Obviously, if one is shamed and secretive about one's drug use, it is harder to ask for help.

If you would like information on drug use issues or the work that we do, please, don't hesitate to call us.
© 2014 ANKORS