Initiatives: Harm Reduction

Initiatives > Harm Reduction

Harm reduction is designed to reduce the harmful consequences associated with addiction and includes strategies such as interventions to prevent overdose (naloxone access), syringe access & syringe exchange programs, and medication assisted treatment.

Naloxone Access

Naloxone (or Narcan) is an essential tool in the battle to prevent deaths from opioid abuse and misuse. If administered early enough in the overdose process, a dose of naloxone can reverse the effects of opioids and save lives. Since Governor Ducey’s emergency declaration on the opioid epidemic in June 2017, the Arizona Department of Health Services reports emergency responders have administered more than 5,000 doses of life-saving naloxone. On Jan. 26, 2018, Governor Ducey signed the Arizona Opioid Epidemic Act, which expanded this effort, authorizing county health departments and ancillary law enforcement/corrections employees to administer naloxone. A Good Samaritan law also was enacted to allow people to call 911 for a potential opioid overdose without fear of being arrested.

Patients can receive naloxone prescriptions through their medical providers; however, anyone who needs naloxone can get it at participating pharmacies, treatment centers, and other community agencies, without a prescription. This includes people at risk of overdosing and people who may witness someone else overdosing.

MaricopaRx SPOTLIGHT: Sonoran Prevention Works

Sonoran Prevention Works (SPW) offers free workshops and trainings on overdose prevention, recognition, and response and naloxone use. We also conduct trainings on various other topics, including: intro to harm reduction, needle stick prevention, harm reduction as a clinical intervention, injection-related wound care, hepatitis C, injection drug use cultural competency, and stigma. These trainings are offered to service providers, friends & family members of drug users, and of course to people who use drugs.

Naloxone is the life-saving medication that makes the difference between life and death in the event of an accidental opioid overdose. SPW facilitates the largest free naloxone distribution network in the state, ensuring that naloxone is available to Arizonans at risk of overdose in every county and on all tribal lands.

Get Involved

Following are organizations currently registered on MaricopaRx.org that have identified work related to naloxone/Narcan distribution or training/education. Click on the organization to learn more about the populations they serve and how to contact them.

If you’d like your organization connected to this initiative, please go to our Registration page

 

Additional Resources

Syringe Access

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Patients can receive naloxone prescriptions through their medical providers; however, anyone who needs naloxone can get it at participating pharmacies, treatment centers, and other community agencies, without a prescription. This includes people at risk of overdosing and people who may witness someone else overdosing.

Medication Assisted Treatment

Medication assisted treatment (MAT) is the use of medications in combination with counseling and behavioral therapies for the treatment of substance use disorders. A combination of medication and behavioral therapies is effective in the treatment of substance use disorders, and can help some people to sustain recovery. For example, research shows that MAT significantly increases a patient’s adherence to treatment and reduces illicit opioid use compared with nondrug approaches. By reducing risk behaviors such as injection of illicit drugs, it also decreases transmission of infectious diseases such as HIV and hepatitis. Methadone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone are the only FDA approved medications to treat Opioid Use Disorder (OUD). Under federal regulations for methadone treatment, the drug must be administered daily in a certified opioid treatment program. In accordance with federal law, buprenorphine may be prescribed on a weekly or monthly basis for at home use, but clinicians must apply for waivers to be able to prescribe these drugs. In contrast, naltrexone (Vivitrol) can be prescribed by any clinician authorized to dispense medications.

MaricopaRx SPOTLIGHT: Community Medical Services

Community Medical Services is a CARF accredited substance use disorder treatment program providing services in the form of outpatient medication assisted treatment and private one on one and group counseling, Intensive Out-Patient therapy (IOP) and Moral Recognition Therapy (MRT) to those seeking help with their substance use disorders.

Get Involved

Following are organizations currently registered on MaricopaRx.org that have identified work related to medication assisted treatment. Click on the organization to learn more about the populations they serve and how to contact them.

If you’d like your organization connected to this initiative, please go to our Registration page.

Additional Resources

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