Comprehensive Harm Reduction Program (CHR)
Mobile Syringe and Comprehensive Harm Reduction Services in Northern Virginia
Enrollment is free, easy, and anonymous.
No ID is required.
Card carrying members have legal protections (see more below)
FREE Services Include:
- Sterile Syringes
- Syringe Disposal
- Free Narcan and Narcan Training
- Safer injection, snorting, and smoking supplies
- Fentanyl Testing Strips
-Peer Recovery Support
- Assistance with food, bedding, and hygiene products
- Assistance with navigating medical, therapeutic, and treatment resources like medications for opioid use disorder
-Assistance enrolling in insurance
To become a confidential member of our Comprehensive Harm Reduction Program, and/or to sign up for location & time notifications for our mobile CHR unit:
Call or Text our Peer Warmline at 703-653-4221
The warmline is open Monday-Friday: 9am-5pm
Weekends & Evenings, please leave a message and we will return your call as soon as possible.
Hours and locations for Summer 2022:
-Every Wednesday from 7-10am we will be at the Prince William Methadone Clinic at 8427 Dorsey Circle, Suite 101, Manassas VA, 20220.
-Every Friday from 7-10am we will be at the Fairfax Methadone Clinic at 7008 Little River Turnpike, Suite G, Annandale, VA, 22003.
We recommend signing up for our texts to receive updates on any last minute schedule or location changes. Call/text 703-653-4221 to sign up.
Harm Reduction FAQ's
What is a Comprehensive Harm Reduction Program?
A comprehensive harm reduction program is a program that helps people to reduce the risks of harm in things that they do. Using a seat belt or practicing safe sex are examples of harm reduction. Harm reduction for drug users includes education, using less, carrying naloxone, testing drugs before using and using clean injection supplies. At The CAF, we meet people where they are whether in active use or whether they are seeking treatment, healthcare or recovery. Our mission is to help people stay safe and improve their health and well-being. Our peer recovery specialists practice unconditional positive regard, are non-judgmental, and have lived experience with addiction and recovery.
Why Harm Reduction?
-Harm reduction programs are an effective way to prevent fatal overdoses and keep people alive.
-Opioids kill more Virginians every year than car crashes or guns – over 2,200 people lost their life to a preventable opioid overdose in 2020.
-Providing clean syringes to people who inject drugs is a highly effective way to prevent the transmission of HIV and Hepatitis C in our community. Sharing syringes can spread HIV and Hepatitis C. Re-using an old syringe can also lead to abscesses, bacterial endocarditis, and other health problems.
-The Health commissioner of Virginia has declared a state of emergency regarding the opioid crisis and House Bill 2317 was passed allowing harm reduction programs to operate.
-Harm reduction isn't "enabling" drug use. Harm reduction helps people to mitigate health risk, stay safe and alive, even if not everyone understands substance use and its impact on the brain and body.
-It is our moral responsibility to assist people in our community who need our help. Harm reduction isn’t just practical from a healthcare standpoint; it is the right thing to do from a moral and community care standpoint.
What do we do?
-Provide sterile supplies like syringes, cottons, and cookers and safer snorting equipment
-Safely dispose of used syringes. We can provide safe disposal containers for used syringes and education about how to use them at home
-Testing for HIV or Hepatitis C
-Provide FREE naloxone to reverse an overdose and overdose reversal training
-Provide education around reducing the health risks involved with drug use
-Connect you to medical services, mental health treatment, substance use treatment or other kinds of resources
-Help obtain basic needs such as shelter, food, bedding, and hygiene products
-Assist with obtaining health insurance or Medicaid
-Employment assistance, job search and resume development
-Linkage to therapists, counselors, and/or sponsors upon request
-Peer support services, emotional support and recovery coaching
-Recovery support to reduce or change use
Why are Syringe Service Programs important?
People involved with Syringe Service Programs, SSPs, are 5 times more likely to enter substance use treatment.
Syringe Service Programs:
-Reduce needle stick injuries among first responders by ensuring safe disposal.
-Reduce crime in the area where they are located.
-Reduce overdose deaths by providing education and naloxone to people who use opiates.
-Dramatically reduce new HIV and Hep C infections in the community.
-Saves lives, prevent infection, and save money on community healthcare.
-Provide legal protections to members of the program.
-If you are a card carrying member of our program then you cannot legally be arrested or prosecuted for carrying a syringe. SSB 32.1 to 45.4 states that participants in an SSP have immunity from arrest or prosecution for possession of syringes and drug paraphernalia as well as trace amounts of substances in used syringes. This allows you to take syringes from us and bring used syringes back to us for disposal without worrying about being arrested or charged.
-SSB 667 states that no one is subject to arrest for drugs or paraphernalia if they are seeking emergency medical attention for themselves or someone who is overdosing. Individuals are expected to remain at the scene and identify themselves to emergency services. Please call 911 if you are concerned about an overdose, you are legally protected even if you have drugs on you. A life could be lost if you don’t make the call. A life could be saved when you make the call.
-SSB 8.01-225 states that individuals are immune from liability if you administer naloxone to someone else, even if turns out that they didn’t need it and even if you haven’t been trained to do this. Please administer naloxone if you have any concern about an opiate overdose --- a life could be saved and you are protected from any liability.
Safer injection- video
Video about safe injecting (taken from Health Brigade site)