Residents in Kent County who have opioid use disorder can soon benefit from a set of harm reduction strategies launching this fall.

A new state grant from the Behavioral Health Administration’s Buprenorphine Initiative will bring a harm reduction and medication-assisted treatment mobile unit to the community. Called, “No Harm in Helping (NoHiH)”, the unit will provide opioid use disorder medications like Vivitrol; Narcan trainings; fentanyl test strips; peer recovery specialist support and information on the Good Samaritan Law. Also included is an anti-stigma campaign, safe-use information, signs of an overdose and the Opioid Intervention Team, said Joe Jones, Local Addictions Authority in Kent County.

Kent County Behavioral Health’s Recovery in Motion (RIM) already is distributing the fentanyl test strips in every Narcan kit. In addition, everyone who receives inpatient treatment at the A.F Whitsitt Center in Chestertown gets a kit, plus the strips, Jones said. Narcan is a life-saving medicine that reverses the effects of an opioid overdose. Fentanyl strips, on the other hand, help a user tell if a drug is tainted with that deadly synthetic opioid, which is 50 to 100 times stronger than heroin.

Harm reduction is a set of practical ideas that reduce the negative effects, or harms, of drug use and dependency.

Jones said the mobile unit could launch as early as October.

For more information on RIM’s services, call 410-778-5894. For more information on Kent County Behavioral Health, visit kenthd.org.

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