"Although money cannot buy social change, no significant change can happen without it."
- George Pillsbury

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Our Mission

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.

On behalf of the Harm Reduction Action Center Event Committee, we would like to announce the winners of this year's, Harm Reduction Badasses of the Year. Please join us for our annual fundraiser on Friday, October 10, 2014 from 5:30-7:30pm

Where? Artwork Network 878 Santa Fe Drive
Tickets are $45 beforehand, $60 at the door Cash bar, appetizers, and silent auction ... you really won't want to miss this event.

Harm Reduction Badasses of the Year

Badasses that we are honoring that evening include:

Who? Denver Health Medical Center - Dr. Kerry Broderick, Dr. Josh Blum, and Dr. Kevin Kaucher, PharmD

Why? In the Fall of 2013, these 3 badasses were able to add Naloxone to the formulary at Denver Health so all Denver Health prescribers can prescribe Naloxone to opiate users and to those folks that love opiate users (third party). Then, in a total badass move, they designed a protocol that anyone that is discharged from their Emergency Department after an observation of an overdose is prescribed Naloxone. And it is cost-effective in their pharmacy. This is a lifesaver and only happening in a few other hospitals in the United States.

Who? King Soopers General Manager - Theresa Pelo

Why? About a year ago, Ms. Pelo became the General Manager of the King Soopers Denver location at 13th and Speer. This is a very busy store, for those of you in the know. Quickly, she realized that there needed to be an opportunity for proper syringe disposal. She went to KS Corporate and was able to gain approval to install syringe disposals in the stalls of each of the bathrooms. Then, in a total badass move, she led the initiative to install syringe disposals in each bathroom of the 144 KS Colorado stores. When we met with her a few months ago to learn more about her initiative she said, "it was just the right thing to do."

Who? HRAC Lifesaver & Local Hero - Vernon Lewis

Why? If you don't know Vernon, maybe you have been living underneath a rock. He was prescribed Naloxone in May 2012. Since then, he has saved 19 lives in Denver. Yes, you read that right, Vernon has utilized his Naloxone 19 times. Those 19 people are alive because of him. Bad. Ass. Here is a profile of someone he saved.

The Harm Reduction Action Center continues society's goal to reach the most marginalized, create community where there is not, and help the most lost find a direction home.

Anyone who has been inflicted with or affected by addiction knows that drug use is a complex, multi-faceted issue; reducing personal harm associated with injection drug use is particularly complex. Injection Drug Users (IDU) often experience chronic homelessness, unemployment, incarceration, poor mental/physical health, discrimination, and trauma histories.

Dates to Remember

Stay Tuned!

Thank you to our friends at the Westword for their blog about the HRAC's syringe access program data.

How We Respond to the Public Health Needs of the IDU

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.

How we use your donation?

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.

Thank you!

Clean supplies

Food for Clients

Principles of Harm Reduction

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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Does not attempt to minimize or ignore the real and tragic harm and danger associated with licit and illicit drug use.