The Piedmont Chapter of Urban Survivors Union began in 2014 after a meeting at the Denver Drug Policy Conference. Prior to becoming the Piedmont Chapter the North Carolina Group operated under the name NC Syringe Access. For 9 years prior to uniting with Urban Survivors Union they operated an underground syringe and naloxone delivery service to ensure that Piedmont drug users had the supplies they needed to stay safe from HCV. Our group advocated and fought and finally won a number of legislative initiatives with the help of North Carolina Harm Reduction Coalition. Our hard work resulted in the passing of:
-HB850 (2013) Possession of Needles/ Tell Law Officer, effectiveDecember 1, 2013, states that if a person alerts an officer to the fact that he/she has a hypodermic needle or other sharp object on her person, premises or vehicle prior to a search he/she cannot be charged or prosecuted with possession of drug paraphernalia for that object. The purpose of this law is to protect officers from punctures or wounds from sharp objects that could be potentially contaminated with HIV or hepatitis C and to encourage suspects to be honest with officers about paraphernalia they may have in their possession.
-HB 712 (2015) Possession of Needles/Tell Law Officer law, effective December 1, 2015, states that anyone who declares a syringe or other sharp object to law enforcement prior to a search cannot be charged for that object.
On October 22nd, 2015, NC Governor McCrory signed the Pilot Project/Used Needle Disposal bill into law. This new law does two things.
- First, it states that anyone who declares a syringe or sharp object to a law enforcement officer prior to search cannot be charged for possession of the object or for any drug residue inside the object.
- Second, HB 712 authorizes 2-4 NC counties to establish pilot programs to collect and safely dispose of used syringes in their communities. NCHRC will start these pilot programs on December 1, 2015 in Cumberland, Guilford and Haywood counties with possible programs in other counties in 2016.
-HB 972 (2016) Syringe Exchange Information
-Syringe Exchange Legislation making syringe exchange legal. You can purchase syringes any pharmacy as well.
The Piedmont Chapter runs the Greensboro Xchange which is the Greensboro Syringe Exchange Program. We provide services and support
Chapter Programs & Activities
Our chapters are autonomous although they share common goals and program models. 4 Four Shared Major Chapter Components: 1) Leadership Development/ Training/ In Service Professional Training’s 2) Community Organizing/ Grassroots Campaigns 3) Civic Engagement 4) Direct Services for people who use drugs
Educational Training’s and Leadership Training’s. We have a series of training’s that we use to teach effective leadership development. We accomplish leadership development through local and national training’s and retreats. Our training’s are designed to increase knowledge of directly impacted people through In Service professional training’s, health training’s, harm reduction education training, safer sex and drug use training’s.
Advocacy: USU Accomplishments in Seattle, San Francisco, NC Good Samaritan Act, Strengthening of Good Samaritan Act-2015, Police officer Safety Act/ Syringe Decriminalization- 2014, Naloxone Access- 2014. 2016- Syringe Access, Ban the Box- 2015 both Legislative &
Awareness Days: Second Chance Alliance/ HIV Funding/ Hepatitis C awareness/ Overdose Summit. World Hepatitis and World Aids Day. Transgender Day of Remembrance, International Harm Reduction Day. Awareness Campaigns and toolkits: Overdose Awareness Day, International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers, International Sex worker rights, Civic Engagement: This is our “get out and vote” We educate people with felony records regarding their voting rights and citizen restoration. Most people with felonies are unaware their rights are restored after probation is complete and are often uneducated regarding how voting affects drug policy and sex work in its current state. It’s our goal to motivate our members and participants to register and then vote. Direct Services: USU only provides direct services where the services are illegal or newly legal. Each of our chapters provides stimulant services through pipe exchanges because we believe that any group not actively working with stimulant users is contributing to the current whitewashing of harm reduction and mass incarceration disproportionately affecting low income as well as people of color.