Harm reduction solutions for substance misuse from IKnowMine.orgMay 25, 2021
In Alaska, substance use, misuse and overdose prevention are important health issues that affect the health of Alaska Native individuals, families and communities. While no single solution will work for everyone, there is a collective public health approach that cares for people in a compassionate way: Harm reduction.
Harm reduction is a compassionate approach to substance use that values people and how we care for each other. This approach is a collection of policy, prevention and health care practices that aim to reduce and prevent harms related to substance use such as overdose, impaired driving and infectious disease.
At ANTHC, programs such as HIV/STD Prevention Services and Substance Misuse Prevention provide free substance misuse supplies for individuals, Tribal health partners, and non-profits through the IKnowMine online store.
At iknowmine.org, you may access:
- Educational Materials: Curricula, lesson plans, substance misuse postcards, Narcan® training, and other materials are available for educators, providers, and other caring adults to learn more and educate their community about substance use.
- Harm Reduction Kit: The Harm Reduction kits are made available to lower the risk of HIV and Hepatitis C (HCV) by providing safer injection use tools and educational materials.
- Narcan kit: Narcan® (Naloxone) is a medicine that can quickly reverse an opioid overdose and is administered through a nasal spray. After a brief tutorial, free and accessible through the website, this is available to all Alaska addresses.
- Safe medicine disposal supplies: Specially-designed bags and buckets that contain non-toxic chemicals to safely dissolve prescription pills and patches, allowing for safe disposal. These bags can help keep medications out of the wrong hands, reduce illegal drug use, and help protect our environment from the damage caused by medications in landfills.
In addition to prevention resources, harm reduction can mean health access, family support and changes in our views on substance use. Through IKnowMine, ANTHC is helping people learn about the harm reduction approach with a new video public service announcement:
Learn how harm reduction helps everyone address substance misuse at iknowmine.org/harmreduction.