This is: Harm Reduction
On November 29, Jessica Soule 20' organized an event to provide naloxone training for youth. "This is: Harm Reduction" saw 30 young people come together to learn how to prevent overdose deaths and talk about harm reduction. The event was facilitated by a panel of three experts, as well as an outreach worker from Foundry Victoria.
Naloxone is a medication that quickly reverses the effects of an overdose from opioids such as heroin, methadone, fentanyl and morphine. It is available in BC without a prescription and often given as an injection into a muscle.
Jessica came up with the idea for the harm reduction workshop about five months ago after she realized that there were few places in Victoria for young people to learn how to use naloxone kits.
"Naloxone saves lives," Jessica says. "The opioid crisis is a public health crisis, and it's really important to get youth talking and naloxone trained."
Jessica has worked in mental health before, and has seen the impact of addiction for herself firsthand. "When we're speaking about substance abuse we often forget that these people are human," she says. "But everyone has the potential for mental health issues and addiction, which is why these conversations are so important. Youth need to recognize that they or their friends will need these resources and skills."
The response from attendees was overwhelmingly positive, and Jessica came away from the experience feeling empowered and excited for what's next. She hopes to continue this series at the Victoria Youth Clinic, and host a similar event at GNS in the New Year.
"People with these issues won't stop unless they want to, and a big part of harm reduction is supporting them so that, when they want to stop, they have resources."
For more resources and information on how to get involved, take a look at the links below: