This term is used in Scotland to refer to services that elsewhere are called by a variety of names including needle and syringe services or needle exchange services.

These are harm reduction services for people who inject drugs and are designed to reduce the risk of infection including infection with blood-borne viruses (chiefly viral hepatitis and HIV) and also bacterial infections. In Scotland foil is provided to support the transition to smoking rather than injecting drugs or to prevent the transition to injecting in the first place.

Engagement with an IEP service may also be an opportunity to receive information and advice and to be signposted to other services.

IEP services originally developed to work with people injecting opiate drugs like heroin – and later and to a lesser extent people who injected stimulants like cocaine. More recently, IPED users have been encouraged to use IEP services and specialist services and products have been developed for this purpose. (See Image and Performance Enhancing Drugs).

There is nothing contested about the term injecting equipment provision and there is a consensus that it is an improvement on needle exchange which may give the impression that returning old equipment is a condition of getting new injecting equipment and overly focusses on needles rather than the range of paraphernalia available.

However, the term injecting equipment provision does not really cover the provision of foil and so the term is slightly inaccurate and may become outdated.