We Offer Intramuscular and Nasal Naloxone
Naloxone (often called Narcan) is administered when someone is experiencing an opioid overdose. Signs of an opioid overdose include delayed, shallow breathing; blue or greying skin; and unresponsiveness. We’ve found that most heroin bought in Charleston is guaranteed to contain some level of fentanyl, a synthetic opioid that is 10x stronger than heroin itself. Unfortunately, there have been many reports in recent years of other substances bought on our streets containing fentanyl, most commonly cocaine and pressed Xanax bars. If you or someone you love engages in consumption of any substance not prescribed, you should carry naloxone and know how to administer it, and educate those close to you about how to administer naloxone and keep it in a place accessible to them. Naloxone will not reverse toxic effects of depressants other than opioids, like alcohol and benzodiazepines.
We Offer Fentanyl Testing Strips
Fentanyl testing strips help you better know the composition of your substance. Knowing that fentanyl is in your supply, allows you to either choose to not ingest your substance or to prepare a safety plan for the possibility of overdose. When testing a substance for fentanyl, mix enough water with the residue of your powdered substance or crushed pills either in your bag or cooker where you've prepared your shot. Ensure that only the wavy lines on the test strip are submerged in the water for 15 seconds before laying the strip down to develop a result within 2 minutes. A one pink-line result indicates your substance has tested positive for fentanyl, whereas a two pink-line result indicates your substance tested negative for fentanyl, however still proceed cautiously. Because heroin bought in Charleston has such a high likelihood of containing some level of fentanyl and because we have a limited number of test strips available to us, we tend to reserve our test strips for people who need to test stimulants or pills that could be different than marketed.
We Offer Sterile Syringes and Injection Equipment
Sterile syringes prevent the transmission of viruses like HIV and Hepatitis C. The majority of new Hepatitis C cases in the United States are among people who use intravenous drugs and between the years 2010-2016, the number of reported cases had increased 350% nationally. In nearly the same frame of time, the CDC noted a 124% increase in MRSA infection rates nationally among people who inject drugs, a population 16x more likely than the general population to develop MRSA. Injecting with sterile syringes and preparing with sterile equipment prevents HIV and Hepatitis C as there’s no exchange of blood among users like there is when syringes and injection equipment are shared between people injecting. Safer injection kits include isopropyl alcohol that is used to cleanse the skin, helping to prevent strep, staph, and MRSA that can live on the skin from reaching the bloodstream when the skin barrier is broken. Sterile injection equipment also prevents soft-tissue infections that can lead to limb amputation and life threatening diseases such as sepsis and endocarditis. If you believe an injection site is at risk of infection or mildly infected please let us know, so that we can offer you wound care supplies.
We Offer Safe Disposal of Used Syringes
Ensuring that used syringes are disposed of properly keeps our entire community safer, so we will gladly dispose of used syringes for you whether or not you received them from us and we will gladly retrieve discarded syringes from a public location if you let us know where they are.
We Offer Injection Alternatives
Smoking allows you to titrate dosage based off response, helping to prevent you getting higher than you want. You can judge the quality of your substance and stop when you feel high enough. Smoking and snorting provide more predictability than injecting with less risk of overdose to opioid users or heart failure in stimulant users. Because smoking eliminates risk of soft-tissue infections like abscesses and their potentially fatal consequences, we want to ensure that people willing to change their route of administration have the option to do so. Although transmission of blood-borne illnesses is reduced through smoking and snorting, there is still potential of transmission through shared supplies via open oral sores or capillaries in the nose that break through snorting, so using your own snorting kit or using a cap on a stem or bowl is a necessary measure of precaution to take to avoid transmission.
We Offer Safe Sex Supplies
Unprotected sex is a high risk activity for contraction of HIV and other STDs. Risk of HIV contraction increases when the receptive party also uses substances intravenously. Many people that use intravenous substances also engage in sex work, so to ensure safety as much as possible, we offer male and female condoms, lubricant, and dental dams to reduce risk of contraction of HIV and other STDs.