Tips for safer use:

  • Don’t share or reuse equipment.
  • If you smoke or snort drugs, avoid sharing pipes or straws.
  • If you inject, always use new equipment: Use a new syringe, rinse water, cooker, cotton and tie, every time.
  • If someone helps you inject, make sure he or she uses a new syringe. Throw away used rinse water and old cottons.

If you must reuse a syringe, follow these steps:

  • Draw cold water into your syringe and shake the barrel. Squirt out the water.
  • Do not reuse this water. Repeat.
  • Draw bleach into your syringe and shake the barrel. Squirt out the bleach. Repeat.
  • Draw new cold water into your syringe and shake the barrel. Squirt out the water.

Prepare drugs carefully:

  • Clean your hands with soap and water or a hand sanitizer.
  • Place any equipment on a clean surface.
  • If you inject: Always use a clean, sterile syringe.
  • Use fresh tap water or sterile water tubes (from a syringe exchange program).
  • Don’t use your needle to poke a hole in your sterile water tube. This can make your needle blunt. A blunt needle can damage your skin and veins.
  • Draw water into your syringe from a clean container.
  • Use a new cooker every time, and avoid touching the inside of the cooker.
  • Drop the cotton directly into the cooker, and then leave it alone. Don’t touch it with your hands! If you share drugs, use one syringe to split the drugs, and a second syringe to inject yourself.

Prevent overdose:

  • Avoid using alone. If you overdose, you want someone around to help.
  • Know your limits. Do a test shot to see how strong the drugs are.
  • If you haven’t used in a while, you are more likely to overdose. Use less than usual.
  • Carry an overdose rescue kit. Kits contain naloxone, a medication that reverses overdoses caused by heroin, prescription painkillers, methadone or other opioids if given in time. Click here for a map & How to administer Naloxone videos by Bernie and the video on Naloxone access by Athena
  • Avoid mixing drugs. Most overdoses happen when people mix heroin or painkillers with other drugs like benzos, methadone, antidepressants or alcohol.

 

ImageTitleDescription
Harm Reduction 101 VideoWith 47,000 overdose deaths each year, this video outlines the importance role supervised injection facilities play in our communities. Watch this 2:34 video and learn how you can be an advocate for supervised injection facilities today.
Harm Reduction Methods – An Interview with Athena HuckabyIn this one minute video with Athena Huckaby, an overdose prevention educator, viewers learn why harm reduction and education are recommended for users and those who love them.
Safer Partying Pocket GuideThis handy pocket guide offers tips and guidance on how to engage in #saferpartying. We all know using drugs carry potential risks, but by educating ourselves and those we love about these harmful side effects, we can minimize the danger. This guide also provides specific websites for more research as well as legal tips should you interface with law enforcement when using.
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Needlebox StickerPrint this sticker and hang in on your front door, in your lobby, in your office and give them away. This sticker promotes Naxolone, provides handy telephone numbers (English and Spanish) for those in crisis who need immediate help.