Increase number of counties that provide harm reduction services
Story Behind the Curve
To learn more about the Indiana Department of Health Harm Reduction Program and the story of harm reduction in Indiana please visit the following link - https://www.in.gov/health/hiv-std-viral-hepatitis/harm-reduction-and-syringe-service-programs/
- Harm reduction is a public health principle designed to decrease the harm associated with human behaviors. Harm reduction can prevent illness or injury that may occur as a result of doing potentially dangerous things. Examples of harm reduction include but are not limited to – wearing a seatbelt, using sunscreen, wearing a face mask, and syringe service programs. Syringe service programs (SSP) are a specific type of harm reduction programming that prevents the transmission of HIV, hepatitis B and C, and other blood borne infections that may occur when someone using substances must share used syringes or other injecting supplies with another person. Syringe service programs prevent the transmission of these infections by providing participants in the program with new syringes and other injecting supplies. In addition, programs collect and properly dispose of used syringes. While new syringes and injecting supplies are the primary prevention tools and initially engage participants, they offer a gateway to a myriad of additional critical public health referrals and services. Harm reduction programs including syringe service programs provide education in the safer use of substances, education and skills building on the identification and response to overdose and overamping, distribute and collect data on naloxone use, provide HIV, viral hepatitis, and STD testing, wound assessment and care, and some provide testing for TB in addition to immunizations. All harm reduction programs also offer referrals and engagement with substance use recovery options, housing, food, physical and mental health care, and other community resources like insurance navigation and education. Harm reduction programs are also an entrance point for the HIV prevention medication commonly known as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP).
Data Source: Indiana Department of Health Harm Reduction Program