“It’s 100% better than what I was doing. I had a staph infection before and was in a nursing home for rehab. I haven’t had that happen since I have been in this program.”
Free support for people who are struggling with drug use.
The Harmony Harm Reduction program provides confidential, lifesaving services to drug users, free of charge, without judgement or criticism. Harmony services were created by and for people who use drugs. They are common sense, safe, kind, free from discrimination and meet the needs of people who use drugs, in a comprehensive, community-based manner. They save lives by engaging with drug users one-on-one — developing meaningful relationships with all who are involved.
No identification is required to receive free services, which include:
- Counseling and peer support
- Rapid HIV and Hepatitis C testing
- HIV and Hepatitis C care navigation
- Overdose prevention education
- Naloxone distribution
- Fentanyl test strips
- Safer-use supplies
- Syringe collection and disposal
- Wound-care referrals
- Safe-sex supplies
- Treatment referrals
- And much more
The truth about harm reduction
- Drug use is part of our world, and we will work to minimize its harmful effects rather than simply ignore or condemn it.
- Drug use is complex and multifaceted, and it involves a wide range of behaviors, from severe abuse to total abstinence. Some ways of using drugs are clearly safer than others.
- Individual and community quality of life, rather than the cessation of all drug use, is the goal for successful interventions and policies.
- Services and resources will be provided without passing judgement upon people who use drugs or threatening them to change.
- Drug users have a real voice in the creation of programs and policies designed to serve them.
- Drug users act as the primary agents of reducing harm, empowering themselves to share information and support others.
- Poverty, class, racism, social isolation, past trauma, sex-based discrimination and other social inequalities affect people’s vulnerability to and capacity for effectively dealing with drug-related harm.
- Harm reduction does not attempt to minimize or ignore the real and tragic harm and danger associated with licit and illicit drug use.
Fentanyl is dangerous — 50 to 100 times more powerful than morphine — and present in more drugs than ever before. Nearly one-third of fatal overdoses in Maryland in 2018 involved fentanyl. Whatever drugs you may be using, take the following precautions to reduce your risk of overdose.
- Use drugs slowly, or less of them. If your drug is mixed with fentanyl, you could overdose before you’re finished injecting the dose. Instead, inject just a little bit of the drug and wait 20 seconds to see how strong it is. You may want to consider not using it. Please visit GoSlow.org for additional information.
- Try snorting or smoking the drug first, instead of injecting it. It’s less risky. However, you can still overdose by snorting or smoking, especially with fentanyl, so start slow.
- Space your doses. Spread them out, with time between each. Fentanyl affects everyone differently, depending on dose and tolerance. It might not hit you as fast as you think.
- Don’t use alone. If you are alone, have someone check on you. That way, if you do overdose, someone can intervene.
- If you’re using in a group, stagger your use with other people. Make sure someone is alert and that at least one person carries Narcan®, so it can be given quickly to anyone who overdoses.
- Always have Narcan on hand. Be sure you know the signs of an overdose and be prepared to administer or self-administer Narcan, no matter what drug you or someone else is using.
- Listen to your body. Be sure you eat, hydrate and rest as much as possible. Your overall state of health impacts your risk of overdose.
A simple 15-second test can tell you whether drugs contain deadly fentanyl.
- Add sterile water to your empty baggie or the cooker you just prepped; mix well.
- Dip the test strip into the water and hold for 15 seconds.
- Place the test strip aside on a sterile surface.
- One line means positive; two lines means negative.
View this video for complete instructions
This project was supported [in part] by grant #AD822AHR from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The contents of this website are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of SAMHSA, HHS, or the Federal Government.
Get help with harmony
If you or someone you know could benefit from the Harmony Harm Reduction program, contact us now.
To arrange any Harmony service, contact us.