Inclusion Visions offers advice and information to support you to reduce the harm caused by using drugs. We offer a range of support aimed at reducing harm and improving your health. As an NHS organisation we hold true to our values of involving you with your care and working with you on your goals. We do not force or coerce treatment goals, we develop and agree targets together whilst always promoting and encouraging you to maximise your independence whilst reducing the harm to yourself.
We also aim to reduce the harmful effects that using drugs can have on not only the individual, but their families and the wider community. We have positive working relationships with lots of organisations across Thurrock so that we can ensure the best joined up care for anyone using our service.
Support available for reducing harm
We have a range of bespoke interventions aimed at reducing harm. Some of these are listed below, but please note this is not an exhaustive list. We focus on reducing the risks and adverse health consequences associated with unsafe drug use, in particular blood borne viruses (BBV’s). 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 sometimes known as Needle exchange)
- Overdose prevention information
- Naloxone training and distribution to individuals 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
- Referral and support to inpatient detoxification and rehabilitation
- Liaison with other professionals such as GPs and sexual health clinic
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
Inclusion Visions work in close partnership with Thurrock Council, Police, Probation, NOMS, Social Care Teams, Pharmacies, GP’s and other providers to reduce the harmful affects of drugs.