In the last few weeks we’ve seen a large amount of misinformation resulting in hesitation with the attempted re-launch of the Harm Reduction Institute's (HRI) & their Syringe Service Program (SSP) in Santa Ana, CA. While HRC does not have a hand in the SSP re-launch by HRI, we are closely monitoring the ongoing discussions on SSPs, & we’re eager to gather feedback from Southern California residents, particularly those in Orange County.
If you are local to Santa Ana, Orange County, or Southern California, we want to hear from you & to know your opinions on harm reduction & SSPs.
We’ve created a survey form using Google Forms which takes approximately 4 to 8 minutes to complete. We believe your input can help local community-based organizations like ours find common ground in these discussions, in hopes of better catering to the concerns, needs, & topics that matter to the community members we strive to serve.
By completing our survey, you’ll be proving your views, concerns, & insights surrounding harm reduction, SSPs in your local community. Your feedback is vital in shaping the future of harm reduction efforts in Orange County, & understanding the concerns from the community so they can be properly addressed.
Before you jump into the survey, here's some background. Syringe Services Programs (SSP) have been designed with several critical objectives in mind:
Preventing Bloodborne Infections: SSPs are dedicated to curbing the spread of diseases like HIV & Hepatitis C by supplying sterile syringes to individuals who inject drugs.
Outreach & Support: This component include educational efforts focused on risk reduction, the promotion of safer substance use & sexual practices, & the distribution of essential supplies like condoms & hygiene products. Additionally, SSPs offer vital referral services, connecting individuals with drug abuse treatment, HIV & hepatitis screening, vaccination, & treatment, along with assistance in accessing housing services & state benefit programs.
Overdose Prevention: SSPs place a strong emphasis on overdose prevention through education & the distribution of naloxone, a life-saving medication effective in reversing opioid overdoses.
Community Engagement: Beyond the distribution of essential supplies, SSPs serve as vital points of contact for individuals seeking assistance & support. They create inclusive opportunities for engagement with healthcare & social services, fostering pathways to well-being & recovery, & actively working to reduce stigma associated with substance use.
What’s Happening with HRI in Santa Ana: While SSPs are recognized as evidence-based interventions that align with public health goals, a recent debate in the city of Santa Ana with the relaunch of the HRI. Initially approved by the state's Department of Public Health, the program faced opposition from city officials, citing potential health & safety risks. The re-launch has raised multiple concerns within the community, & has promoted our organization to seek feedback from the community.
While Harm Reduction Circle may not operate a SSP, or directly have a hand in the efforts by HRI, we share similar goals - just with different approaches. We are committed to the well-being of all residents of Orange County, & for us that commitment extends throughout Southern California & beyond.
We invite residents of Orange County, Southern California, & beyond to participate in our brief survey allowing for the communities we serve to take 4 to 8 minutes of their time to provide their views, insight, & feedback surrounding harm reduction, & Syringe Services Programs. Your voice matters!
Survey Link: https://forms.gle/SZfuAxca5aBAdxsP6
We look forward to hearing your thoughts & working together to build a healthier & safer community for all by hearing concerns from the community, opening a dialogue, & finding common ground. Harm Reduction Saves Lives