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Rural Health Information Hub

High Rockies Harm Reduction

Summary 
  • Need: To reduce drug overdose deaths and the spread of infectious diseases in rural Colorado.
  • Intervention: This program provides harm reduction and peer support to people who use drugs and to their loved ones.
  • Results: This program distributed 3,125 doses of naloxone and 4,760 fentanyl test strips in 2022.

Description

High Rockies Harm Reduction in Colorado works to reduce drug overdose deaths and the spread of infectious diseases by providing naloxone and other supplies, prevention education, peer support, and warm hand-offs to other services. This program currently provides direct services in rural Eagle, Garfield, Lake, Pitkin, and Summit counties and urban Mesa County and provides education and technical assistance statewide.

High Rockies Harm Reduction is a Colorado Nonprofit Development Center partner project and has received regional opioid abatement funding.

Services offered

High Rockies Harm Reduction offers the following supplies and services:

  • Fentanyl test strips
  • First aid and wound care supplies
  • Naloxone
  • Overdose prevention education
  • Peer support
  • Referrals and warm hand-offs to healthcare and social services
  • Syringe service program

Clients can schedule appointments or delivery to receive naloxone or test strips. The service schedule and mail-based request form are available online.

High Rockies Harm Reduction also offers a virtual Narcan training every month and by appointment.

Results

High Rockies Harm Reduction distributed 3,125 doses of naloxone and 4,760 fentanyl test strips in 2022. The program also provided naloxone and training to several college campuses and school districts in rural western Colorado.

Challenges

Funding and staffing a harm reduction program can be a challenge in some rural communities, with some community hesitation or pushback.

Replication

Work with your community members: public health, law enforcement, healthcare providers, and people who use drugs. Everyone needs a seat at the table and community collaboration is key. These programs look different in each rural community.

High Rockies Harm Reduction's director provides technical assistance to public health departments and community members seeking to start harm reduction programs.

Contact Information

Maggie Seldeen, Founder and Executive Director
High Rockies Harm Reduction
970.618.4194
maggie@highrockiesharmreduction.com

Topics
Infectious diseases
Substance use and misuse
Wellness, health promotion, and disease prevention

States served
Colorado

Date added
October 4, 2023

Suggested citation: Rural Health Information Hub, 2023. High Rockies Harm Reduction [online]. Rural Health Information Hub. Available at: https://www.ruralhealthinfo.org/project-examples/1120 [Accessed 25 April 2024]


Please contact the models and innovations contact directly for the most complete and current information about this program. Summaries of models and innovations are provided by RHIhub for your convenience. The programs described are not endorsed by RHIhub or by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy. Each rural community should consider whether a particular project or approach is a good match for their community’s needs and capacity. While it is sometimes possible to adapt program components to match your resources, keep in mind that changes to the program design may impact results.