Harm reduction began decades ago when the U.S. government mandated seatbelts and motorcycle helmets as public health policies providing preventions and protections for entire populations.
In partnership with Buncombe County Department of Health and Human Services, Sunrise’s Harm Reduction Program is a proactive and evidence-based approach to reduce the negative personal and public health impacts of behavior associated with substance use at both the individual and community levels. Our work is grounded in protecting the safety and dignity of program participants.
Our Certified Peer Support Specialists with their own lived experience with harm reduction “meet people where they are” and provide peer support, resource connection, safety precaution and education. We provide these resources without judgement, coercion, or discrimination and recognize that harm reduction can be a pathway to prevention, treatment and recovery services.
WHY IS HARM REDUCTION IMPORTANT?
Evidence shows that harm reduction saves lives by preventing drug-related deaths and offering access to healthcare, social services and treatment. This results in a reduction of overdose fatalities, acute life-threatening infections related to unsterile drug injection and chronic disease such as HIV/HCV.
Our Peer Support Specialists have the unique opportunity to establish trusted and consistent relationships with a population that is typically hidden, fearful of authority and isolated from the community, and can instill hope and possibility for a better future. Call 828-747-9843 to speak to someone in our Harm Reduction Program or click here to access Harm Reduction resources.