Two words people in EMS interested in battling the opiate overdose epidemic should know are “HARM REDUCTION.”
According to the Harm Reduction Coalition, harm reduction is a set of practical strategies and ideas aimed at reducing negative consequences associated with drug use.
Harm reduction “accepts, for better and or worse, that licit and illicit drug use is part of our world and chooses to work to minimize its harmful effects rather than simply ignore or condemn them.”
We in EMS like to respond to calls where a crisis is happening and we fix it and the person is better and can return to their normal life. Unfortunately, EMS calls are rarely that simple.
We give someone Narcan and then we find the same person oded later that day. Does that mean, we stop trying to save them? Or does it mean we have to find other ways to get through to them?
If we can’t stop someone from using drugs that could kill them, we can at least try to help them mitigate the risks.
Across the country harm reduction organizations run needle...
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