The Governor Signs SB410

For Immediate Release: June 12, 2013
CARSON CITY, NV — Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval signed SB 410 yesterday, removing syringes from the list of illegal drug paraphernalia, thereby allowing for non-prescription sale of syringes and syringe access and disposal programs….
Nevada joins 36 other states that have decriminalized syringes to allow for syringe exchange programs and non-prescription sales of sterile injection equipment to reduce transmission of HIV, viral hepatitis, and other bloodborne infections.
Senator David Parks, the bill author, remarked, “Back in 1996 when first elected, I was asked what bills I’d be pursuing for my first legislative session.  My response was employment non-discrimination, HIV/AIDS state funding and decriminalization of hypodermic devices.  Little did I know it would be my 9th session before decriminalization of hypodermic devices would come to fruition.”
Northern Nevada HOPES in Reno plans to start a syringe exchange program as soon as the law takes effect. Director Sharon Chamberlain says, “In addition to getting sterile syringe out to those who need them, our program will increase safe syringe disposal by individuals in the community.  We will educate these users about the new and needed community disposal options, and strongly encourage them to take advantage of this resource.”  Previously, no community initiatives provided safe disposal options.
The US Centers for Disease Control concluded that the incidence of HIV among injection drug users had decreased by 80% in the US over a 20- year period in large part due to syringe exchange programs.  Most syringe exchange programs are part of a comprehensive health promotion effort that includes viral hepatitis and HIV counseling and testing, education on reducing sexual and drug use-related health risks, referral to drug treatment, and referral to other medical and social services.

PHASA Educational/Awareness Presentations and Speakers Bureau

Abby from the Northern Nevada PHASA Speakers Bureau talking about her history being affected by injection drug use to the young ladies at the Nevada Youth Empowerment Project (NYEP).

PHASA and their Speaker’s Bureau can come and speak to your organization, classroom, and/or business as well. Presentations consist of Needle Exchange (Syringe Service Programs) and what that looks like, Harm Reduction 101, and deregulating syringes in Nevada. Email Melanie Flores at for more information.

NNOT working with PHASA, but who is NNOT?

The Northern Nevada Outreach Team:

Who are they? What do they do? Come with us on a Tuesday or Friday Night and find out.

The team of 3 to 5 are out on the street, doing something great for the community. They hand out condoms, lube, hygiene
kits and bleach kits for IV drug users to help stop spread disease and infection here in Reno.

On Tuesday, August 21st the outreach team walked the river path. We met at Northern Nevada HOPES at 6pm and hit the street. We started at Ralston and 1st and walked down to 4th and Stutro Street. Then we walked up Stutro to Record Street.

On Tuesday Night the team of 3 handed out:
25 Bleach Kits
40 Hygine Kits (20 with toothbrushes and 20 without)
173 Condoms
12 Females Condoms

It is a great feeling when you can help those in need.

Along the walk we stop and talk to those who we see and help. They are really grateful for us being out there to help with some of the things that many of us have access to regularly, but they do not. We hand out items like toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, shampoo, deoderant, razors that all come in our hygeine kits.

Last night, one man asked us why we do this and each of us took the time to tell him a little bit about why
we do it.

Jon Penfold, started out and was telling him a little bit about why he does. Jon tells him what it’s like to now be clean for over 17 years and what outreach has meant for him.

Leslie, talked about why she was out doing it and what it meant to her.

Kelly Penfold, talked about why she was out there. She came from a family who did drugs and almost lost her big brother because of it. Now she wants to help others so that no one has to go without what they need.

These were just some to her reasons.

He thanked us and as we were leaving I asked him if there was anything else he would like to see the outreach team have for those who live on the streets? His answer was a prayer.

So no matter what others say about the homeless or the street people, some of them are just looking for a simple answer. It could be just to have someone to talk to, or someone to give them
hope. Maybe someone to to sit and pray with them.

Remember it could happen to anyone of us, and when you pay it forward it will always find it’s
way back to you.
Kelly Penfold
NNOT(Northern Nevada Outreach Team)


8/22/12 Northern Nevada Outreach Team

Needle exchange and disposal:

Found by another one of our advocates and his 10-year old daughter doing outreach in the community. There was a study conducted comparing two cities, Miami (w/o needle exchange) vs San Francisco (with needle exchange), and found that only 13% of inappropriately discarded syringes were found in SF as compared to 93% in Miami! Disposal, just another thing needle exchange programs are good at.

The study, “A Comparison of Syringe Disposal Practices Among Injection Drug Users in a City With Versus a City Without Needle and Syringe Programs,” was published in Drug and Alcohol Dependence (2011;

Jon & Kelly take a walk

“As we were out doing our daily walk today, we happen to come across this.

Thank god it was us and not some kid. So we took it to the mall where they have a sharps box. This is why we do what we do.”