MO Stays Safe - Safer Drug Use and Risk Reduction
NEED NALOXONE (NARCAN®)? Call 844-732-3587
Naloxone (NARCAN) is available without a prescription. It can be purchased from a pharmacy or may be distributed by different organizations within your community.
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Are you a medical provider? Show-Me ECHO Opioid Use Disorder
Opioid Use Disorder ECHO empowers and supports primary care providers to more effectively and confidently treat patients suffering from opioid use disorder.
Safer Drug Use Tips
Clean your injection site.
Before injecting, wash or sanitize your hands and any surfaces used to prepare the drugs. Then use an alcohol wipe or soapy water clean your injection site.
Switching veins or how you use (smoking instead of injecting) can decrease the chance of getting an abscesses or other infections.
Use fresh needles.
It’s best not to reuse or share needles as well as other drug use equipment like cottons, cookers, ties, water, snorting straws, or pipes. If you are reusing, clean your syringe with sterile water and bleach.
Infections like HIV and hepatitis C can be transmitted through a small amount of blood from someone else’s body. This means even if you are not sharing a syringe, you can be exposed to blood from other drug use equipment.
If you are actively using drugs, getting tested for HIV and hepatitis C every six months can help keep you healthy.
Don’t use alone.
Try to never be alone when using, or behind a locked door. You can also call the Never Use Alone hotline 800-484-3731, for someone to stay on the line while you use and call for a first responder if you are not responsive.
Do a tester shot and use slowly.
You may not know what your drugs are mixed with, or how strong a batch is. Doing a tester shot, or using a smaller amount, can help you decide how strong your new supply is and reduce the chance of overdose or overamping.
Space out your doses to figure out how the substance affects you.
Opioid tolerance can go away after a few days. Using slowly can also keep you safe, especially if you have not been using.
There has been an increase of fentanyl found in stimulants such as methamphetamine and cocaine, as well as street bought pills such as benzos. Test drugs with a fentanyl test strip, when possible.
Switch up how you use.
Injecting carries the most risk for overdose so switching to smoking or snorting may help reduce the risk of overdose or overamping.
Take Turns using.
When you are in a group, take turns using so someone is able to use naloxone and respond to emergencies.
Rest, eat, and hydrate.
Your health impacts how your body is able to respond to overdose and overamping. Be sure to rest, eat, and hydrate.
Dispose of used equipment safely.
If you are unable to dispose of used syringes in a biohazard bin you can protect others by putting used injection equipment in a strong container with a secure top (like a laundry detergent bottle). Tape it closed and label it: “Sharps, Do Not Recycle”.
Keep naloxone (Narcan®) with you and call 911.
Naloxone reverses the effects of an opioid overdose. You can buy naloxone with or without a prescription at most pharmacies. You can also contact MO Network, 844-732-3587 for more information on how to get naloxone.
Remember Missouri’s Good Samaritan Law protects you and the person overdosing from arrest for possession of drugs and drug paraphernalia.
A trusted medical provider can help you make the best decisions for your health.
Health services, like HIV and hepatitis C testing, PrEP or hepatitis A and B vaccines, may be available at your local health department or community health center for little or no cost.
Safer Use Resources
- Harm Reduction Coalition
- Safer Use PDF
- Fentanyl Test Strips
- NEXT Distro (mail based naloxone)
- Never Use Alone Hotline
- CDC HIV and Injecting Drugs 101 [English and Spanish]
- CDC Hepatitis C and Injection Drug Use (Fact Sheet)
- PrEP (HIV Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis)
- Hepatitis B
- Hepatitis C
Referrals & Resources
- SAMHSA Helpline (800-662-4357)
- SAMHSA Treatment Locator
- MO Treatment (insurance not required)
- HIV Testing Locator
- Person First Language Guide
- Hepatitis C and People Who Inject Drugs Fact Sheet
- Missouri Opioid Information
- MO Vulnerability Assessment
Need Training or more Information?
Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services is able to provide more information as well as training or presentation opportunities that cover the topics of harm reduction, HIV, viral hepatitis, and STD’s. For more information or to request a presentation send an email to HarmReduction@health.mo.gov.