Reducing Harm

We offer a range of support aimed at reducing harm and improving your health.

Our ‘support available for drugs’ page provides an overview of our approach to working with individuals with drug use that is impacting on them and others around them. Our aim is to work with you to reduce harm and build successes, which in turn enables you to maximise your independence and reach your potential.

Inclusion Recovery Hampshire is committed to promoting health and wellbeing and preventing drug related harm that meets you where you are at. We do not force or coerce treatment goals, we develop and agree targets together whilst always promoting and encouraging you to maximise your independence.

Inclusion Recovery Hampshire focuses on reducing the risks and adverse health consequences associated with unsafe drug use, in particular blood borne viruses (BBV’s). We are non-judgemental and treat every person with dignity, respect and compassion. Strategies and activities for reducing harm vary according to the substance in question, however some of the interventions and activities we provide which are proven to reduce harm include:

  • Peer involvement and education
  • Needle and syringe programmes (NSPs)
  • Overdose prevention education
  • Naloxone training and distribution to individual and those around them (professionals and family members/friends)
  • Blood borne virus screening and enhanced pathways for testing, treatment and support
  • Health MOT clinics
  • Prescribing therapies

It’s important to acknowledge that we can never remove all risks completely which is why we say it will reduce or minimise harm. The only way to remove all harm is by not taking the drug in the first place.

General advice to reduce harm and stay safer:

  • If using opiates (like heroin, fentanyl, etc) make sure you get naloxone training and a kit – we can also train your family/friends so that they can help if you ever experienced an overdose.
  • When using substances, start with a small amount to test the strength ‘start low, go slow’
  • Don’t be afraid of seeking help and being honest about what you have taken
  • Avoid mixing drugs, especially with alcohol
  • Look after friends, if they are sleeping (be aware they could be unconscious) keep your eye on them, put them in the recovery position and call an ambulance if needed
  • Avoid injecting (smoke if possible)
  • Try to use with trusted friends in a safe environment (and tell them what you’re taking) – so if something does go wrong they can get you help
  • Take into consideration the risks you are taking and get as much information about the drug beforehand
  • Don’t drive whilst under the influence (or operate machinery) as it can effect your coordination, decision making and reaction times
  • If you start to feel unwell, seek medical advice

IRH also has P2P (a peer-to-peer) Hepatitis C Mentoring Project where trained mentors deliver talks and presentations to peers and professionals with the aim of increasing awareness and testing for hepatitis C, interspersing volunteers’ own life experiences with key messages, risk factors and treatment options. P2P is an award winning project and really is setting the standard of a Gold-star-service that individuals in Hampshire receive as a result of the effort and passion committed by the peers and staff involved in it.

Inclusion Recovery Hampshire work in close partnership with Hampshire County Council, Hampshire Drug and Alcohol Action Team, Hampshire Police, Probation, NOMS, Social Care Teams, Pharmacies, GP’s and other providers to reduce the harmful affects of drugs.