Programs that help prevent the transmission of HIV/AIDS and other blood borne infectious diseases by providing new, sterile syringes and other sterile injection supplies to needle users in exchange for used ones; or which sell new hypodermic needles and syringes to high risk individuals who have a prescription or, in jurisdictions where it is permitted, without a prescription.
Programs that distribute Narcan or other similar substances that block the effects of opiates such as heroin, morphine, codeine, OxyContin, methadone, fentanyl and Vicodin but cannot themselves be used to get a person high. Opiate antidotes can be used to reverse the effects of an opiate overdose including restoring breathing that has stopped or slowed down, and may be distributed to opiate users to reduce the number of deaths that occur from opiate overdose.
Medically supervised facilities that are designed to reduce public drug use and improper syringe disposal, and provide a hygienic and stress-free environment in which individuals are able to safely consume pre-obtained recreational drugs intravenously. The facilities provide sterile injection equipment, information about drugs and basic health care, treatment referrals and access to medical staff who can provide overdose intervention but are typically not allowed to directly assist in the process of injection. Some offer counselling, hygienic and other services needed by people who are homeless or live in shelters or substandard housing. Eligibility criteria vary. The objectives of the program are to prevent overdose fatalities, reduce HIV risk, increase access to treatment services and improve public order.
The above terms and definitions are part of the Taxonomy of Human Services, used here by permission of INFO LINE of Los Angeles.