Harm reduction is a set of policies, programs and interventions that are primarily aimed at reducing the health, social and economic consequences of substance abuse and psychedelics and are not necessarily associated with reducing substance abuse. Drug users, families, and the community benefit from harm reduction programs.
DIC is abbreviation of Drop-In Center that means harm reduction transient center. This center is established and managed in order to control and reduce the harm of addicts who are unable or unwilling to quit drug addiction permanently, so that the high-risk behaviors they exhibit do not harm the community and other people. The center is open from 8:00 to 14:00 and breakfast and hot lunch are served to homeless addicted women with high-risk behaviors. The services of this center are:
- Establishing therapeutic communication with drug users and psychedelic users;
- Educating, informing and counseling people with high-risk behavior in society;
- Counseling and sampeling for rapid test of HIV and other infections transmitted through injection and unprotected sexual behavior under health criteria and refferal to higher centers;
- Providing sterile syringes, needles and injection equipment;
- Distributing alcohol disinfectant pads and providing basic health services such as dressings;
- Providing training on healthy sexual behaviors, encouraging proper and continuous use of personal and sterile syringes and needles;
- Increasing acces to hard to reach drug users by forming mobile relief teams;
- Establishing cooperative nodes for training and implementing harm reduction programs;
- Providing basic support services including: nutrition, clothing and bath;
- Informing on various treatments for addiction and substance abuse;
- Implementing a syringe and needle program in order to deliver syringes and needles, collect used needles and syringes and provide counseling and training to injecting drug abusers regarding safe injection;
- Evaluating individuals for blood-borne diseases;
- Referral to authorized addiction treatment centers in cases where there is a desire for treatment;
- Referral to hygiene centers and hospitals in cases where medical interventions are needed.
Mobile relief team is one of the services associated with drop-in center which is known as “Out Reach” and it means providing harm reduction services to hard to reach people outside the center who do not have access to the social health care network for any reason and do not go to the center. Mobile relief team is a team of at least two people recovered from addiction (as equals) who visit the neighborhoods around the drop-in center and the hangouts of drug addicts.
The tasks of this team are:
- Distrinuting harm reduction and hygiene items (such as sterile syringes and needles, condoms, pads, cotton, sanitary napkins, etc.);
- Collecting used needles and syringes;
- Educating injecting drug users aboute safe injection;
- Training on how to use condoms properly;
- Introducing the center and its services to homless addicts;