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Harm Reduction Works (Needle Exchange/Safer Inhalation Program)

Harm reduction is a set of practical strategies that meet people “where they’re at” in an effort to reduce negative consequences of drug and/or alcohol use. 

Needle exchange sites are an example of harm reduction.  The sites provide a safe environment to exchange used drug equipment (works) with the supply of new, sterile works.

Friendly staff are available at the sites to help you access:

  • Clean equipment including needles, pipes, spoons, ties, filters, swabs, water and Vitamin C

  • Free condoms, lube and dental dams

  • Testing information on HIV, Hep C, sexually transmitted infections (STI’s), safer sex, pregnancy, and more

  • Other resources and community agencies

You can protect yourself and others by:

  • Using new works every time you inject or smoke

  • Using condoms and lube every time you have vaginal and/or anal sex

  • Using condoms or dental dams every time you have oral sex

  • Getting tested regularly

  • Not sharing equipment for injecting, inhaling, tattooing or piercing

  • Washing your hands and the skin where you’re injecting with soap and water or alcohol pads.  This helps to stop germs from entering your blood.

  • Using different sites on your body to inject.  This will cut down on bruises, track marks and vein collapse.

  • Always putting your used rigs inside a hard plastic container (not glass) with a sealed lid (pop bottle or coffee can) if you can't get to an exchange site.

Cleaning drug equipment with bleach won’t kill Hep C!

Additional Resources:

PARN - Your Community AIDS Resource Network