United Way of Southwest Alabama / Uncategorized  / AIDS Alabama Executive Report on People who Inject Drugs

AIDS Alabama Executive Report on People who Inject Drugs

 United Way of Southwest Alabama (UWSWA) partner agency, AIDS Alabama, released their executive summary report, “It’s Harder to Find the Syringe Than the Drug,” detailing the results of the first statewide needs assessment conducted among Alabamians who inject drugs. This past spring AIDS Alabama, in collaboration with the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s (UAB) Center for AIDS Research and the Alabama Harm Reduction Coalition, surveyed 124 Alabama residents who inject drugs or who provide direct care to individuals who inject drugs. Through a combination of questionnaire and focus group responses, they aimed to gain critical insights into the need of Alabamians who inject drugs and help inform advocacy priorities for ending the opioid epidemic in the state.

Their study revealed several trends in unmet needs and barriers to care encountered by Alabamians with injection drug use experience. The majority of participants reported difficulties with employment, housing, and finances. Participants reported emotional or psychological difficulty with stigma and discrimination as well as lack of social support being listed as primary sources of such issues. Concerningly, they found it was extremely common among participants to have experienced an overdose and the majority had personally witnessed others overdose. Even more commonly, they found that participants often shared and reused needles. The barriers preventing community members from accessing clean syringes and life-saving medication such as naloxone must be addressed and we must recognize the need for a comprehensive and peer-led approach in ending the opioid epidemic.

As the growing opioid and injection drug use epidemic continues to impact Alabama, understanding the unique needs of people who inject drugs and direct care providers will be critical to developing effective strategies to end these epidemics in the state. We hope these findings will foster further discussion on the impact of current drug laws and policies and inform public health efforts going forward. For more information please contact AIDS Alabama Director of Policy and Advocacy, Matt Pagnotti, at or (205) 918-8199.

20-It’s Harder to Find the Syringe than the Drug – Executive Report



Alabama Opioid Overdose and Addiction Council Annual Report

At the end year two of implementation, they are encouraged to see the progress that is being made across the state through the leadership of their eight working subcommittees. This report’s format provides five elements to ensure ease of readability:

1. Name of Subcommittee

2. List of Numbered Strategies

3. List of Numbered Objectives

4. Bar Graph for Progress Made

5. Blue Box with Relevant Supporting Details

To read the full report – Alabama Opioid Overdose and Addiction Council 2019 Annual Report


KJ Smith

Civic Engagement Coordinator

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers