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Harm Reduction

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What if a person with substance use disorder (SUD) isn’t ready to start their journey toward recovery? What if going ‘cold turkey’ stops them them from taking the first step? That’s when harm reduction options come into play and help save lives.

Harm reduction is a method to help keep individuals who use drugs safe and alive while working to reduce barriers to treatment. It acknowledges a person’s willingness to change and meets them where they are in their personal journey. The goal of harm reduction is simple: to reduce or prevent overdose deaths or other harmful health outcomes, including the spread of deadly infections and chronic diseases.

What Does Harm Reduction Look Like?

Harm reduction takes shape in many ways at different Gaudenzia locations including:

Our services include:

  • Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT): provides FDA-approved medications to treat individuals with opioid use disorders and in some cases, alcohol use disorder. MAT helps ease withdrawal symptoms and cravings, helping individuals transition from drug use.
  • Peer Support Services: Services including outreach, education and linkages to SUD treatment and other support services are provided by individuals who have lived experience with SUDs and recovery.
  • Drug Testing/Drug Checking Strips: Testing strips that can identify deadly synthetic opioids like fentanyl laced in other drugs. With the alarming rise in fentanyl-related overdoses and death, these testing strips can help people who use drugs understand what they consuming.
  • Naloxone (Narcan) Distribution: Distribution of free naloxone to members of the public and PWUD increases the access to this lifesaving treatment to reverse overdoses.
  • Community Outreach: Working to provide services to individuals who may not be aware of or have access to a variety of resources available to them including education, supplies and housing.
  • Overdose Prevention Education: Offering education to community members on how to prevent overdoses.
  • Mobile Harm Reduction Services (Coming Soon): Substance Use Disorder services brought directly into communities where individuals may not have access to care.

Learn More about Harm Reduction Services Near You

To learn more about harm reduction service options near you, call the Gaudenzia Treatment and Referral HelpLine at 833.976.HELP (4357).

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