Substance use disorder, particularly the use of opiates, has become an epidemic in Hamilton County. This has led to an increase in hepatitis and sexually transmitted infections. Harm Reduction Programs can help reduce the negative impacts of the opioid epidemic.
What is a HARM REDUCTION Program?
It is a comprehensive, community based public health initiative that provides disease prevention, education and referral services, including:
- Education about overdose prevention, communicable diseases and injection safety;
- Testing and referral to treatment for communicable diseases such as hepatitis, HIV and sexually transmitted infections, and pregnancy testing;
- Hepatitis vaccination;
- Referral to substance use disorder treatment programs, including medically assisted programs to combat addiction, as well as to medical, mental health and social services;
- Safe disposal of injection equipment;
- Access to sterile injection equipment to fight the spread of communicable disease;
- Access to naloxone, the overdose reversing drug; and
- Distribution of personal care items, including condoms.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), people who inject drugs and use a Harm Reduction Program are FIVE times more likely to enter treatment for substance use disorder and are more likely to reduce or stop injecting.
Addiction: The Unmet Need
MORE THAN 1 IN 7 AMERICANS AGES 12 AND OLDER HAVE A SUBSTANCE ABUSE PROBLEM.
Major advances in neuroscience, brain imaging and behavioral research show that addiction can be thought of as a complex brain disease affecting behavior. However, it is often viewed as a moral failing due to lack of willpower, and therefore, not treated as a medical illness. Those living with addiction, and their families, often feel isolated in their struggle to understand the disease and find effective treatment. This is due in part to the shame and stigma attached to addiction and to the separation of most treatment from mainstream health care practice.
For more information on activities in Hamilton County designed to address the disease of addiction, visit The Hamilton County Heroin Coalition.
Hamilton County Public Health, through the Narcan Distribution Collaborative (NDC), is making Narcan (naloxone) available to the public at NO CHARGE. For information, please contact NDC staff at 513-946-7676 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bloodborne Infectious Disease Prevention Program
The Bloodborne Infectious Disease Prevention Program is designed to help prevent the spread of infectious diseases like HIV and Hepatitis among IV drug users. Please see hours and locations below. Send us and e-mail at ExchangeProject@hamilton-co.org or give us a call at 513-316-7725.
The Exchange Project Statistics
|MONTHLY TO 3/8/18||TOTALS (YTD)|
|Hep C Testing||8||8||50|
*Only includes locations in Hamilton County.
**Take-home pregnancy test provided.
‘Other referral’ defined as social services or mental health services.
Totals include three sites in Hamilton County, one site in Middletown and one site in Clermont County.
For more information on the Bloodborne Infectious Disease Prevention Program, visit The Exchange Project on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/hc.xchange or and follow on Twitter at https://twitter.com/hc_xchange.