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Talking to your client about preventing an overdose can feel challenging. You may struggle with your feelings and beliefs around their drug use. However, being a good listener, focusing on harm reduction and sharing information with your clients could save a life.
Avoid being judgmental about their drug use. Talk with them about ways to reduce their risk – this is called harm reduction. Discuss the importance of calling 911 if there is an overdose. Calling 911 can prevent an overdose from being deadly.
What is harm reduction?
Risk is a part of life. We find ways to reduce our risk all the time, such as using seatbelts when driving, using a designated driver or public transportation when drinking, and using condoms when having sex. Such strategies are examples of harm reduction.
Harm reduction recognizes that:
When talking with your clients about harm reduction and overdose prevention,
Talking with clients about calling 911
People who use have many fears about calling 911 and involving the police at the scene of an overdose, including:
Let them know:
Let them know that if they MUST leave the scene of an overdose: