Substituting Drugs: Substituting a more harmful drug for a less harmful drug. For example, providing orally consumed methadone instead of injected heroin.
Needle Exchange Programs: Providing sterile needles to injection drug users helps to reduce the risk of infection of HIV/AIDS, hepatitis, and other blood-borne diseases. With the needles, it is helpful to provide tourniquets, sterile water, ascorbic acid, sterilizing sheets, etc. (For more information, please go to the “Injection” page of this website.)
Supervised Injection Sites: Providing a safe and sterile location for people to inject reduces the risks associated with injecting in unsafe locations (i.e. the street).
Inhalation Kits: Providing clean glass stems to people who prefer to smoke their drug of choice helps to reduce the risk of infection of HIV/AIDS, hepatitis, and other blood-borne diseases. With the stems, it is helpful to provide a chop stick, filters, alcohol swabs, mouthpieces, etc. (For more information, please go to the “Inhalation” page of this website.)
Education about Safer Use: Providing information about how to use drugs as safely as possible, as well as about the transmission of blood-borne diseases can help people to be as aware of risks as possible.
Food Banks: Food banks are a form of harm reduction as they help people who use substances to get proper nutrients.
Marijuana: it is safer to use a vaporizer (when possible) to smoke marijuana as it drastically reduces the toxins inhaled. It is also safer ingest marijuana orally (i.e. brownies, tea). However, many people report that the ‘high’ from orally ingesting marijuana is different from smoking. The ‘high’ from using a vaporizer is the same as smoking.
Snorting: it is very important that people snorting drugs use a clean tool each time. Money should never be used, as there is no way of knowing where it has been. It is best to use a new straw every time to avoid contamination. It is also recommended for people to snort a couple drops of clean water before and afterwards to clean out the affected area. Also, if a person is snorting a lot, rubbing some vitamin E oil in the nose can help it to heal.