Initiatives: Harm Reduction

Initiatives > Harm Reduction

Harm reduction is designed to reduce the harmful consequences associated with substance use. Strategies for harm reduction include interventions to prevent overdose deaths (Naloxone access and Good Samaritan laws), syringe services programs and medication-assisted treatment.

Naloxone Access

 

Naloxone (also known as Narcan®) is a non-addictive medication that is used to reverse the effects of an opioid overdose. If administered early enough in the overdose process, Naloxone can save lives. Significant emphasis has been placed on increasing access to Naloxone in Arizona. Many law enforcement officers now carry Naloxone, and a standing order for Naloxone provides the opportunity for people to pick up Naloxone at a pharmacy and to have it be covered by health insurance. (For more information on access to Naloxone, please click here.)

Getting Naloxone into the community and into the hands of those who are most likely to be with someone who experiences an overdose is essential to prevent more people from dying from opioids.

 

What can you do as a community stakeholder to help in this area?

 

Get Involved

The 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 who they serve and how to contact them.

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

 

Additional Naloxone Resources

Prescribe to Prevent

ADHS Naloxone Information

Opioid Overdose Prevention and Naloxone Brochure

Opioid Safety and Naloxone Use Brochure for Patients and Caregivers (en Espanol)

FAQ’s on Naloxone

Information for Pharmacists

Good Samaritan Laws

 

In 2018, Arizona passed a Good Samaritan law which allows for people to seek medical assistance for a potential opioid overdose without being charged or prosecuted for a drug-related offense. By increasing the likelihood of people seeking emergency assistance, Good Samaritan laws increase the ability of first responders to administer Naloxone to reverse an overdose. (This law expires in Arizona on July 1, 2023.)

Syringe Services Programs

 

Syringe Services Programs (SSPs) provide access to free, sterile syringes and needles and facilitate safe disposal of used needles and syringes. According to the CDC, “[p]ersons who inject drugs can substantially reduce their risk of getting and transmitting HIV, viral hepatitis and other blood borne infections by using a sterile needle and syringe for every injection.” Many SSPs (also referred to as needle exchange programs, syringe exchange programs, and needle-syringe programs) offer additional services such as referrals to substance use disorder treatment, referrals to medical services, and overdose prevention materials.

For more information on Syringe Services Programs, click here.

 

Get Involved

The following organizations currently registered on MaricopaRx.org have identified work related to syringe services programs. Click on the organization to learn more about the populations they serve and how to contact them.

Medication Assisted Treatment

 

Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) is the use of medications in combination with counseling and behavioral therapies for the treatment of Opioid Use Disorder. Research has shown “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 C.”1

Methadone, Buprenorphine, and Naltrexone are the only FDA approved medications to treat Opioid Use Disorder. 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 can be prescribed by any clinician authorized to dispense medications.

1 “Medication-Assisted Treatment Improves Outcomes for Patients with Opioid Use Disorder,” Pew Trusts, November 2016

 

What Can You Do as a Community Stakeholder in the area of Medication-Assisted Treatment?

  • Educate those in your organization and community about Medication-Assisted Treatment
  • Help those with whom you work access Medication-Assisted Treatment
  • If you are a healthcare organization or provider, consider becoming a provider of Medication-Assisted Treatment

 

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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