Harm Reduction – Overview

What Can You Do to Help Prevent an Overdose?

Carry Naloxone

  • Naloxone is often the first line of defense in addressing the overdose crisis.
  • Naloxone is a safe and effective chemical compound that reverses the effects of an opiate overdose.
  • Naloxone has been approved for use in Canada for over 40 years and is on the World Health Organization List of Essential Medicines.
  • Naloxone has no potential for abuse.
  • To maximize the impact of Naloxone on drug deaths, it is necessary to have Naloxone available at the scene of the overdose before specialist help arrives. This means that Naloxone has to be available to members of the community for emergency use.
  • Where can I get Naloxone?
    • • AIDS Committee of Windsor
    • • Windsor Essex County Health Unit
    • • The Downtown Mission of Windsor
    • • Your local pharmacies (valid health card required)
    • • Chatham-Kent Public Health Unit, W.I.S.H. Centre
  • Remember, if you think someone is overdosing, call 9-1-1 right away

Educate, advocate, or join local initiatives

The AIDS Committee of Windsor provides extensive and detailed training on numerous topics, including the opioid crisis, recognizing an opiate overdose, administering naloxone, and tips on reducing the risk of overdoses.

We rely on residents, agencies, and businesses to access these trainings and spread the word by challenging common preconceptions and myths, and advocating for a humane and effective response to overdoses in Windsor- Essex and Chatham-Kent.

Ensure access to treatment for individuals who are misusing opioids

Effective treatment can reduce the risk of overdoses and help overdose survivors implement strategies for using more safely. Access to medication-assisted treatment is vital, along with access to supportive and counselling services that incorporate harm reduction principles.

Reduce your risk

If you use opioids, you can reduce your risk by:

  • Not using alone
  • Knowing your tolerance
  • Having a naloxone kit available, and knowing how to use it
  • Using a small amount of an opioid first to check the strength
  • Not taking opioids with alcohol or other drugs (unless prescribed)

Encourage the public to call 9-1-1

An individual experiencing and opioid overdose needs immediate medical attention. Therefore, members of the public should be encouraged to call 9-1-1. The Good Samaritan law prevents arrest, charges or prosecution for persons in possession of controlled substances or paraphernalia if emergency assistance is sought.

This is not an exhaustive list of things we can do in addressing the opioid crisis. Questions or concerns regarding any of the above can be addressed to the AIDS Committee of Windsor’s Harm Reduction Community Education Coordinator at 519-973-0222 ext. 127 or cvenet-rogers@aidswindsor.org

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