Needle Exchange Programs in Santa Cruz and Watsonville


By Justine Dewey

Syringe exchange programs provide people with clean needles for drug injection, which reduces their risk of transmission of HIV and Hepatitis C. Our office provides safer works packets, which include cottons, bleach, water, antiseptic wipes, and cookers, but unfortunately we are not able to provide clean needles. Here is a list of locations in Santa Cruz and Watsonville that do provide clean needles.

Santa Cruz County Syringe Services (2 locations):

These locations have a one-to-one policy with a maximum of 100 needles. They strongly encourage that people bring in their used needles, but they will still give out clean needles if a used needle is not brought in.

  • 1080 Emeline Ave., Santa Cruz, CA 95060

Hours of Operation
Monday: 8am – 12pm
Tuesday: 5pm – 7pm
Friday: 8am – 12pm

  • 1430 Freedom Blvd. Suite D, Watsonville, CA 95076

Hours of Operation
Monday: 5:30pm – 6:30pm
Tuesday: 9:30am – 11:30am and 5:30pm – 6:30 pm
Wednesday: 9:30am – 11:30am and 5:30pm – 6:30 pm
Thursday: 5:30pm – 6:30 pm

This information was written on August 11th, 2016, but may not stay updated in the future. For more information and updates to hours of operation and policies, call 831.454.2437 or visit their website:

There are also pharmacies in the area that sell syringes:

  • Rite Aid will sell 10 syringes without an Rx:

901 Soquel Ave, Santa Cruz (831) 426 4303

  • Westside Pharmacy will sell 10 Syringes without an Rx:

1401 Mission Street, Santa Cruz (831) 423 7174

  • Watsonville Pharmacy will sell 100 syringes without an Rx:

1433 Freedom Blvd, Watsonville (831) 728 1818



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