TOP 10 HARM REDUCTION POLICY DEMANDS
In order for funds to have maximum impact, the following must be true:
Funding must be achievable for all types of organizations, especially community-based, grassroots, harm reduction groups that may not have 501c3 status.
Funding cannot be contingent on intensive data collection or time intensive reporting/surveys (such as the GPRA).
These funds must be paired with necessary policy changes, such as expanding Ohio’s Good Samaritan Legislation and legalization of harm reduction tools like fentanyl test strips and sterile injection equipment.
HARM REDUCTION & TREATMENT
Implement multiple, well funded, peer run Syringe Service Programs (SSPs) and/or Drug User Health Hubs that operate using best practices and a need based model.
Increase access to low barrier naloxone/Narcan and fentanyl testing strips through peer run programs that allow for secondary distribution.
Expand access to compassionate wound care.
Increase access to all FDA-approved forms of medication assisted treatment (MAT/MOUD), especially methadone.
Purchase FTIR (fourier transform infrared spectroscopy) machines to allow community members to test their drugs before use. These machines should be made accessible at community based SSPs or Drug User Health Hubs, not law enforcement offices.
Open safe consumption sites to dramatically reduce overdose fatalities.
SERVICES FOR CHILDREN
Increase funding for kinship care so that families can stay together.
Provide educational scholarships for children who lost a parent to overdose.
Create harm reduction based treatment facilities that allow participants to bring their children, families, and/or pets.
Increase access to low barrier, quality, childcare with expanded hours.
ADDRESS THE NEEDS OF CRIMINAL-JUSTICE INVOLVED PERSONS
Open multiple free legal clinics, where quality, experienced, lawyers provide a variety of legal support and counsel.
Standardize drug courts based on best practices and participant evaluation.
Pair these legal clinics with Drug User Health Hubs.
EARLY INTERVENTION AND CRISIS SUPPORT
Increase access to quality, affordable, low barrier, housing. Remove housing restrictions for those with drug related convictions and halt all drug related evictions.
Provide ample funding for grassroots outreach and harm reduction education, including funds that cover staff time and expenses for those who may not have 501c3 status.
Pay people with lived experience (including people in active use) a living wage to run these programs.
Implement mental health and wound care training in clinicals for nursing programs.
Develop financial incentives and support for Black, POC, and/or LGBTQ+ providers to work at these programs, including health care professionals and lawyers.
Develop a leadership development program where those with lived experience are trained to offer expert coaching to medical professionals, first responders, and other care providers.