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Examples of Harm Reduction

Some examples of services available to prevent harms from substance use include:


Naloxone is a chemical that reverses an opioid overdose. Learn more about naloxone

Fentanyl Test Strips

Fentanyl is a dangerous synthetic opioid that is responsible for the majority of drug overdoses in Connecticut. Fentanyl test strips enable people who use substances to test that the substance their using does not contain fentanyl. Learn more about fentanyl test strips

Needle/Syringe Distribution

Intravenous drug use increases the risk of certain illnesses, especially if the needle is re-used. In order to reduce the harms associated with intravenous drug use there are services that provide clean needles. Interactive map of syringe distribution services in CT

You can also view this list of Syringe Service Programs from the Connecticut Department of Public Health.

Safe Injection Sites

These services help prevent overdose deaths. They can reduce other harms by providing a safer, supervised environment for people using substance

Drinking and Driving Laws

DUI laws recognize that some people choose to use substances, however in the case of drinking, they set a limit around the level of use before operating a vehicle in order to reduce acute and severe potential harms to themselves or others. These laws do not require abstinence and they work to reduce adverse consequences associated with substance use.

Methadone and Buprenorphine

Methadone and Buprenorphine are medicines that reduce the craving for heroin and other drugs, while helping improve the user’s stability, social function, and adherence to HIV medications and other treatment. Learn more about methadone and buprenorphine