June 27, 2022 – 

  1. Anyone using pills or powder needs a naloxone kit, too.
  2. Rebrand naloxone as an overdose prevention drug rather than a drug that reverses an opioid overdose to expand the circle of people who see its value.
  3. Hire people who are actively using drugs to hand out naloxone, show how to use it and explain the need to others.
  4. Do the same with fentanyl test strips and urge people to test every pill or powder before they take it.
  5. Consider rebranding needle exchange sites as harm reduction programs. Some people who don’t inject drugs say they don’t go into these sites, because they don’t need clean needles or don’t want to be seen as people who do.
  6. Stock crack and meth pipes in harm reduction programs to serve and engage with a wider variety of people who use drugs.
  7. Warn people using any illegal drug to take precautions like doing a test dose of any powder or pill then waiting a few minutes, and never using drugs while alone. Let people know there’s a hotline they can call if they don’t have a companion.
  8. Print messages about safe drug use in the languages spoken in your community.
  9. Work through churches and community groups that aren’t focused on drug use to help families understand addiction, treatment options and overdose prevention.
  10. Train health care providers to recognize addiction to drugs besides opioids, and to treat all people with respect.
  11. Find a way to collect and report real time data about what’s in the drug supply, who is dying where, at what age and other demographic information — as we have with COVID-19.
  12. Xylazine, an animal tranquilizer that’s showing up in the illegal drug supply, is the latest example of the need for up-to-date reporting. It makes reviving someone after an overdose and starting treatment more complicated


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