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Harm Reduction

Kentucky Snags Title of First Southern State to Legalize Syringe Exchange

Tessie Castillo | Posted 04.28.2015 | Politics
Tessie Castillo

Tessie Castillo: Congratulations on S. 192! Can you describe the bill? JM: This bill will allocate money for substance use treatment, including in ...

Methadone and Buprenorphine 101: A Guide for Law Enforcement

Tessie Castillo | Posted 04.15.2015 | Healthy Living
Tessie Castillo

Lately, with all the talk about rising rates of opioid use and addiction, we are hearing more about opioid treatment programs (OTPs). OTPs provide o...

Step-by-Step Guide to Organizing a Syringe Clean-Up Event

Tessie Castillo | Posted 04.02.2015 | Impact
Tessie Castillo

A great way to raise awareness about the need for syringe access and biohazard collection is to organize clean-up events to pick up used syringes from public areas. In addition to removing hazardous materials from public spaces, where they could harm children and the public, syringe clean-up events are an opportunity to engage law enforcement on the issue of syringe access.

Time for the Harm Reduction Decade

Allan Clear | Posted 03.10.2015 | Impact
Allan Clear

As an important United Nations meeting of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) started in Vienna this week, diplomats from around the world were confronted with a spectacular installation of giant black and white photos.

Opioid Treatment Programs Should Provide Naloxone to Patients

Tessie Castillo | Posted 04.27.2015 | Politics
Tessie Castillo

If an OTP patient doesn't want naloxone, no one will force them to take it. But if they do need it, bureaucracy or out-dated moral policy should not stand in the way.

Overdose Prevention in a New York City Prison: Start of a Groundbreaking New Initiative

Allan Clear | Posted 04.08.2015 | New York
Allan Clear

Risk of death from overdosing on heroin or other opioids such as Vicodin or OxyContin goes up substantially after periods of refraining from drug use. Quantities that once brought pleasure can be fatal after a period of abstinence. The research shows that individuals leaving jail or prison are particularly vulnerable.

Why We Need Drug Detox for Minors

Tessie Castillo | Posted 04.05.2015 | Parents
Tessie Castillo

Despite her mother's pleas, Zoe was released from the mental health facility to live with her father. Trinlie waited and prayed for the call that would tell her a treatment bed had opened up for Zoe. But on Aug. 6, 2014, she received a very different kind of call.

Best Moments for Overdose Prevention in 2014

Tessie Castillo | Posted 02.28.2015 | Healthy Living
Tessie Castillo

As the year winds to a close, the media is spitting out "Best of 2014" lists on fashion and political blunders as fast as people can think of them. ...

E-Cig Users and Vapers Need to Join Anti-Drug War Movement

Tony Newman | Posted 02.22.2015 | Politics
Tony Newman

It is time for smokers and vapers to join the growing anti-drug war movement. Smokers and vapers may not think about it, but they are also drug users and they are being demonized and threatened like other drug users. And vapers may not know it, but they are harm-reductionists.

Meet Jack Fishman, the Man Who Invented Naloxone

Tessie Castillo | Posted 02.14.2015 | Healthy Living
Tessie Castillo

It's a tragedy that Jack Fishman died without ever knowing the extent of his impact on saving lives from overdose. But then again, he was a humble man. Perhaps he would prefer to remain the unsung hero of overdose prevention.

Drug Deaths in the Dam -- Unfortunate Accident or Intention to Kill?

Adam Winstock | Posted 01.30.2015 | World
Adam Winstock

As drug death alerts in Amsterdam show us just how a city can respond to a drug crisis, we ask: could someone be killing people who use drugs intentio...

Why Doctors Should Avoid Saying 'Drug Overdose'

Tessie Castillo | Posted 01.31.2015 | Healthy Living
Tessie Castillo

Because most people who are prescribed opioids do not see themselves as being at risk for overdose, they may decline naloxone even if it is offered by a medical provider. Talking about not breathing as a possible side effect usually grabs patients' attention and will make them more open to information on naloxone.

Synthetic Cannabis: It's Not the Real Thing. Buyers, Beware!

Adam Winstock | Posted 01.19.2015 | Politics
Adam Winstock

The laws of common sense and basic economic theory would suggest that the market for synthetic cannabis products should be dying. And yet, they represent the fastest growing group of novel psychoactive drugs reported to the EMCDDA.

Insite Loves People Right Where They Are

Mark Horvath | Posted 01.16.2015 | Impact
Mark Horvath

One of the most common phrases homeless services nonprofits or faith based ministries say is: "we build relationships", and many do just that, but often there is a catch or an agenda at the relationship's foundation.

Could 'Darknet' Drug Markets Be a Good Thing?

Adam Winstock | Posted 01.16.2015 | Technology
Adam Winstock

Does depersonalizing drug deals lead to a reduction in drug related risk violence? Could dark-markets help create credible on-line communities sharing harm reduction advice at point of purchase?

Harm Reduction - What Is Happening at the Federal Level

Tessie Castillo | Posted 01.10.2015 | Politics
Tessie Castillo

Advocates for drug policy reform are doing some admirable work at the state level to improve the health and dignity of people who use drugs. But things are rolling at the federal level too. The Harm Reduction Coalition discussed the issues they are working on.

Pill Injectors at Higher Risk for Hepatitis C Than Heroin Injectors

Tessie Castillo | Posted 12.20.2014 | Healthy Living
Tessie Castillo

This month the American Journal of Public Health published an article with surprising new findings: People who inject prescription opioid analgesics (...

With Rise in Heroin Use, We Need to Change Syringe Laws

Tessie Castillo | Posted 11.24.2014 | Crime
Tessie Castillo

Instead of creating laws that sound good but in reality cause more harm, we should encourage laws that provide incentives for people to do the right thing. Want drug users to clean up their used syringes? Protect them from charges if the syringes are stored in a safe container.

E-Cigarettes and Maintenance Therapy: A Smart Public Health Approach

Julie Netherland | Posted 11.17.2014 | Politics
Julie Netherland

E-cigarettes illustrate how harm reduction approaches to drug policy, particularly maintenance or substitution therapies, are at once both filled with promise and deeply misunderstood.

Police Forum Report Says Syringe Exchange Encourages Drug Treatment, Lowers Injury and Disease

Tessie Castillo | Posted 11.12.2014 | Crime
Tessie Castillo

Just when it seems like law enforcement will never buy into the idea of syringe exchange as a tool to reduce disease and prevent needle-stick injury...

Saving Lives By Mail

Tessie Castillo | Posted 10.07.2014 | Impact
Tessie Castillo

All the talk of community naloxone programs saving lives from drug overdose might leave people in states with no such programs feeling locked out of...

AIDS-Free Generation Will Not Be Achieved Without More Investment in Harm Reduction

David J. Olson | Posted 09.20.2014 | Impact
David J. Olson

In 2010, the United Nations announced that an AIDS-free generation was achievable if we focused on the most disadvantaged communities.

Opioid Maintenance Therapy: Questions and Controversies

Tessie Castillo | Posted 09.19.2014 | Healthy Living
Tessie Castillo

Opioid maintenance therapy, or using a legal opiate to reduce a person's urge to take illicit drugs, has long generated controversy.

Drug Relapse Denial and How it Kills

Tessie Castillo | Posted 08.25.2014 | Healthy Living
Tessie Castillo

Denial can be deadly. When teenagers aren't educated about sex because adults insist that it's not happening in schools, the outcomes are unplanned ...

Swift Action Needed in New York on Lifesaving Overdose Prevention Law

Robert Suarez | Posted 08.20.2014 | New York
Robert Suarez

This week Gov. Cuomo announced a package of legislation that seeks to address the drug-overdose crisis in New York, including reforming health insurance to make sure that people are not denied coverage for drug treatment. Not mentioned is a major bill that will immediately save lives by preventing overdose deaths from heroin and prescription opioids.