Our Mission: To educate, empower and advocate for the health and dignity of Metro-Denver’s injection drug users and affected partners in accordance with harm reduction principles.
Thank you Governor Hickenlooper!
Governor Hickenlooper signed into law two life-saving public health bills. The signing took place at the Governor's Office at the State Capitol.
SB 208, sponsored by Sen. Pat Steadman (D-Denver), ensures that Colorado syringe access program participants are immune from paraphernalia laws criminalizing possession of syringes. This bill finishes the work of authorizing syringe access programs in Colorado by ensuring that program participants can carry clean syringes and return contaminated syringes for proper disposal without fear of ticketing or arrest. SB 208 is expected to encourage proper sharps disposal in the cities of Boulder, Grand Junction, and Fort Collins, all of which operate their own syringe access programs. Immunity for syringe possession is fairly widespread across the nation with 27 jurisdictions employing some form of immunity and 14 jurisdictions employing full decriminalization of syringe possession.
SB 14, sponsored by Sen. Irene Aguilar (D-Denver), will expand access to Naloxone - an overdose reversal medication - by providing protection against civil and criminal liability for medical professionals who prescribe the drug to third parties, and for lay people who subsequently administer the drug. Naloxone distribution is part of comprehensive overdose prevention efforts in Colorado, which currently has the nation's second highest rate of prescription abuse. To date, eleven states plus the District of Columbia have passed laws that offer explicit civil and/or criminal liability protection for people who prescribe or administer Naloxone to those at risk for drug overdose.
The passage of these two bills marks the culmination of a successful legislative session for public health, harm reduction, and drug policy reform in Colorado. "Plainly stated, these bills will save lives and limit the spread of disease," said Lisa Raville of the Harm Reduction Action Center. "Naloxone distribution and immunity for participants of syringe access programs are critical to Colorado's comprehensive efforts to establish drug policy which prioritizes the lives of users and the health of our communities."
Wednesday, June 19 - You know how you chat about the HRAC with your friends, co-workers, etc.? Well, this is the time to bring those folks out to an event to learn more about us. We are launching a 45 day crowdfunding (i.e. fundraising) campaign that begins on Wednesday, June 19 from 5-8pm. Location is TBD as we secure a venue. This evening is going to be amazing, bring your friends, and plan to pledge a donation to the HRAC for our work to keep our community healthy and safe.
Friday, October 25 - Our Annual Fundraiser starring Dr. Carl Hart. More details to come.
Thank you to our friends at the Westword for their blog about the HRAC's syringe access program data.
1. Provide IDUs with relevant skills, education and behaviors that reduce the harmful effects of marginalized lifestyles on the individual and the larger public.
2. Decrease HIV, HCV and other drug-related health conditions by providing legal harm reduction supplies.
3. Empower Denver IDUs to advocate and participate in social change issues of their interest including homelessness, alleviation of poverty, healthcare needs, incarceration re-entry, and access to clean syringes**
4. Expand awareness and access to health services to diverse IDU groups, particularly through the use of client peer-educators
5. Educate and advocate for Colorado political leaders to garner a position on a community syringe exchange program**
6. Increase access and utilization of available medical services for IDUs who are stigmatized by adverse social or health conditions while advising health care providers in best practices
Please check out some local coverage of syringe exchange issues in Denver.
The Harm Reduction Action Center depends completely on donations from individuals, organizations and foundations to provide basic necessities, legal harm reduction and wound care supplies, health intervention incentives, safe syringe disposal. Without your support we could not exist.
Food for Clients
Brought to you by www.HarmReduction.org
Harm reduction is a set of practical strategies that reduce negative consequences of drug use, incorporating a spectrum of strategies from safer use, to managed use and then to abstinence. Harm reduction strategies meet drug users "where they're at," addressing conditions of use along with the use itself.
Because harm reduction demands that interventions and policies designed to serve drug users reflect specific individual and community needs, there is no universal definition of or formula for the implementation of harm reduction. However, HRC considers the following principles central to harm reduction practice.
Accepts, for better and for 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.
Understands drug use as a complex, multi-faceted phenomenon that encompasses a continuum of behaviors from severe abuse to total abstinence, and acknowledges that some ways of using drugs are clearly safer than others.
Establishes quality of individual and community life and well being - not necessarily cessation of all drug use - as the criteria for successful interventions and policies.
Calls for the non-judgmental, non-coercive provision of services and resources to people who use drugs and the communities in which they live in order to assist them in reducing attendant harm.
Ensures that drug users and those with a history of drug use routinely have a real voice in the creation of programs and policies designed to serve them.
Affirms drugs users themselves as the primary agents of reducing the harms of their drug use, and seeks to empower users to share information and support each other in strategies which meet their actual conditions of use.
Recognizes that the realities of poverty, class, racism, social isolation, past trauma, sex-based discrimination and other social inequalities affect both people's vulnerability to and capacity for effectively dealing with drug-related harm.
Does not attempt to minimize or ignore the real and tragic harm and danger associated with licit and illicit drug use.