The introduction of fentanyl into the drug supply has been a game changer in how we prevent overdoses. More people are focusing on practical strategies and ideas to keep people who use drugs engaged, safe and alive while minimizing the harm resulting from substance use. A key tenet of the harm reduction approach is to accept a person unconditionally where they are in terms of their drug use with no expectations or assumptions for treatment. The goal is to keep the person alive.
In New Hampshire and across the country, there is an urgent need to reach out to people who are struggling with substance use to offer them hope and options around safe use, treatment, and recovery. As the opioid and polysubstance overdose crisis continues, states are implementing innovative models to better meet the needs—and save the lives—of people who use substances. It is a sad reality that few people with substance use disorder receive the care or treatment they need. It is the responsibility of us all to be prepared with strategies, and to provide tools like naloxone, sterile syringes, or offer services around recovery and education specific to not using alone.
Phoebe Axtman, Director of Education of New Hampshire Harm Reduction Coalition, joins us today to share the evidence-based practices behind these life saving services and how they are making a difference across NH.
Explore more on the topics and themes discussed in this episode:
Never Use Alone – FREE phone service where a real person stays on the line to help a person use substances safely. Call 1-800-484-3731 or visit neverusealone.com.
SAMHSA: Preventing, Recognizing and Treating Opioid Overdose – Prevention and treatment information about opioid use disorder.
2-1-1 NH – A comprehensive source of information about local resources and services to help you take care of yourself.
Drug Policy Alliance – Provides the Safety First, Real Drug Education for Teens, which is the nation’s first harm reduction-based drug education curriculum for high school students.