What is Harm Reduction?
Harm reduction is an approach that aims to minimize the negative consequences associated with substance use, while respecting individual autonomy and dignity. It acknowledges that complete abstinence may not be achievable for everyone and focuses on reducing harm and improving well-being in relation to substance use.
Key Resources in Wisconsin
- Naloxone To Reverse Overdoses:
- Naloxone is a medication that rapidly reverses the effects of an opioid overdose, including respiratory depression.
- It can be obtained for free from harm reduction programs, community locations like libraries, and some pharmacies.
- Carrying naloxone and learning how to administer it can help prevent overdose deaths.
- Learn more about accessing naloxone to keep on hand for your loved ones using drugs.
Overdose Prevention Centers:
- Opening overdose prevention centers in communities can prevent fatal overdoses.
- These centers provide a supervised, non-judgmental space for people to use drugs, with health professionals and peers available.
- Harm reduction supplies are provided free of charge, and individuals are monitored to intervene in case of an overdose.
- Overdose prevention centers have prevented overdose, reduced HIV transmission, and improved access to health services.
Drug Checking Resources, Such as Fentanyl Test Strips:
- Drug checking allows people to identify unknown substances in illicit drugs to reduce fatal overdose.
- Fentanyl test strips are increasingly used to detect the presence of fentanyl in drugs.
- Access to fentanyl test strips helps people make informed decisions, implement harm reduction strategies, and share test results with peers.
- Expanding access to drug checking methods and supporting the use of fentanyl test strips is crucial to reducing harm.
Safer Drug Use Supplies:
- Access to safer drug use supplies, such as sterile syringes, reduces the risk of overdose, Hepatitis C, and HIV.
- Syringe services programs (SSPs) are associated with a 50% reduction in injection-related disease transmission.
- These programs provide sterile syringes, safe disposal, and prevention education, including naloxone distribution.
- Supporting syringe services programs helps create healthier, equitable communities.
Methadone and Buprenorphine To Treat Opioid Use Disorder:
- Medications for opioid use disorder (MOUDs) like methadone and buprenorphine are essential treatment options.
- These medications ease withdrawal symptoms, address opioid tolerance, and reduce cravings.
- Methadone and buprenorphine are proven to reduce fatal overdoses, decrease criminal justice involvement, and improve health outcomes.
- Removing systemic barriers and addressing discrimination is crucial to ensuring access to medication-assisted treatment for all individuals, including those who are incarcerated.
How to Stop an Overdose
1. Call 911
2. Give Narcan
3. Begin CPR
How To Use Narcan
If you or someone close to you is battling addiction, it’s important to seek help without delay. Substance abuse can have far-reaching implications, affecting not only the individual but also their loved ones. Don’t allow addiction to rule your life – take the initiative to begin the journey towards recovery by seeking assistance. Always keep in mind that recovery is attainable, and a brighter future awaits.
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