Harm Reduction Services
Harm Reduction Services
Harm Reduction is an evidence-based spectrum of strategies utilized to support persons who use substances (PWUS). These strategies include safer use, managed use, abstinence, and meeting people “where they’re at” in addressing conditions of use along with the use itself.
MCAVHN follows eight guiding principles in practicing harm reduction: ACCEPTING that for better or worse licit and illicit substance use (alcohol, opioids, stimulants, cannabis, prescription) is part of our world and we choose to work to minimize harmful effects rather than ignore or condemn them. We UNDERSTAND substance use is complex and multi-faceted and acknowledge that some ways of using is safer than others.
We establish QUALITY of LIFE and WELL-BEING as criteria for successful support of persons who use substances and in establishing policies and practices. Our team with lived experience is NON-JUDGEMENTAL. We ensure that our participants HAVE a VOICE in the services they receive and in the creation of programs and policies designed to serve them. We EMPOWER people who use substances to make their own decisions about their use which will meet their actual conditions of use. We understand that SOCIAL INEQUITIES affect a person’s ability to deal with substance-related harm. We recognize the real and tragic harm and danger associated with illicit substance use and ADVOCATE for Harm Reduction Services throughout Mendocino County.
Harm Reduction Services Include:
- Provide access to clean syringes, accepting syringe returns for safe disposal, and conduct syringe service clean-up in our communities.
- Provide access to injection alternative kits
- Provide Fentanyl and Xylazine test kits and train PWUS in test use
- Testing for Hepatitis C, HIV, treatment of Hep C in our on-site MAT Clinic, and link to HIV treatment
- Provide supply kits for safe use, safe sex, hygiene, wound care, and seasonal needs for unhoused
- Opioid Use and Overdose Prevention Education to PWUS, to individuals and groups including tribal partners, in schools and at after school events, and conduct trainings for clients at partner agencies
- Counseling support services to assist PWUS well-being
- County wide distribution, tracking of and training in use of Naloxone/ Narcan to prevent overdose
- Linkage to specialty mental health services, In-Patient Recovery, Out-Patient health services, recovery services, housing assistance, shelter support, transportation
- Conducting Street Outreach to encampments, clinics, and outlying rural areas of Mendocino County
- Conduct Community Education & Awareness through participating in local events