Harm Reduction and COVID-19
We are experiencing difficult times and we want everybody to be safe, so if you are a person who uses drugs, PLEASE read the information below so you can reduce your risk.
For an in depth overview of COVID-19 please check the HSE website HERE
**COVID-19 is a new illness that can affect your lungs and airways. It’s caused by a virus called coronavirus**
It can take up to 14 days for symptoms of coronavirus to appear.
The main symptoms to look out for are:
- a cough – this can be any kind of cough, not just dry
- shortness of breath
- breathing difficulties
- fever (high temperature) or chills
If you develop symptoms you will need to self-isolate and phone your GP. Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. The GP will assess you over the phone. If they think you need to be tested for coronavirus, they will arrange a test.
If you are a person who uses drugs, please:
- DO NOT share equipment (syringes, spoons, crack pipes)
- DO NOT use notes or keys if snorting as they harbour infection
- DO NOT pass around cigarettes or joints
- AVOID PHYSICAL CONTACT WITH OTHER when preparing or using drugs
If you need clean equipment, please call our friends from Ana Liffey Drug Project on freephone 1800786828 !!
To REDUCE RISK, please:
- Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds – before and after you handle drugs (need a tutorial? we got you! Click HERE )
- Use alcohol wipes on surfaces where tou prepare drugs (available on needle exchanges)
- If snorting, please crush as finely as you can!
- Use unused equipment. For snorting – unused straws, rolled-up post-it or clean piece of paper
- Look after yourself and look out for others
We also want to share with all of you some Harm Reduction Tips that the incredible team from the International Network of People who use Drugs (INPUD) have put together. We know not all their recommendations are suitable for the Irish context, but this is coming directly from the community of PWUD and we think they’ve done an amazing piece of work that deserves recognition! Check them out HERE
We’ll keep you posted with the latest updates.
PLEASE STAY SAFE!