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What Is Harm Reduction?

Harm reduction is a set of strategies and ideas designed to reduce the negative effects of drug use. It is also a movement to respect the rights of people who use drugs. Knowing that people with a substance use disorder are continuing to use, the goal is to reduce harm and prevent an overdose before they get professional help. Many overdose deaths can be prevented with these lifesaving tools. Below are some of the ways you can help with harm reduction.

Current Delaware Suspected Overdose Deaths in 2023:


Know the signs and symptoms of an overdose.

Knowing how to spot an overdose can save a life. Here are some things to look out for:

  • Small, constricted “pinpoint” pupils
  • Falling asleep or losing consciousness
  • Slow, weak, or no breathing
  • Choking or gurgling sounds
  • Limp body
  • Cold and/or clammy skin
  • Discolored skin (especially in lips and nails)