Naloxone saves lives and its now accepted as an intervention to reduce drug related deaths. There is a growing interest in the use of naloxone with heroin and opiate users and a greater recognition of its role within a wider range of treatment and support in reducing harm and supporting recovery.
Sarz Maxwell says that providing Naloxone gives a clear message to the drug user 'it matters if you live or die'.
Whilst Harm Reduction programs work with in a variety of situations, with a variety of substances, it’s most high profile work is directly with injecting drug users (IDU’s) that are not, for a variety of reasons, gaining access to the public health services. Harm reduction includes such components as outreach work, needle exchange programs and substitution therapy. Depending on local settings, a number of the components can be present.
One can come across an opinion that the activities of harm reduction programs can lead to an increase of drug using population. In fact harm reduction activities have been extensively evaluated and are the only proven effective means ( World Health Organisation) of preventing HIV epidemics among IDU’s or controlling and reducing large IDU-related HIV epidemics.
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