LEONARDTOWN, MD (August 7, 2018) – The St. Mary’s County Health Department (SMCHD) will host a presentation for the community to provide information and gather feedback on developing a Harm Reduction Program in St. Mary’s County.

This presentation will take place on Tuesday, August 21, 2018 at 5:30 p.m. in Room A of the Lexington Park Library, located at 21677 FDR Boulevard in Lexington Park, Maryland. This event is open to all community members and registration is not required.

The mission of a Harm Reduction Program would be to reduce the risk of communicable disease spread through IV drug use, connect individuals using drugs to treatment and recovery supports, decrease the stigma impacting people who inject drugs, and increase public safety.

“Comprehensive harm reduction services would greatly assist with our response to the opioid epidemic.” stated Dr. Meena Brewster, St. Mary’s County Health Officer. “Decades of research show us that harm reduction programs significantly increase the likelihood that people engage with treatment for their drug addiction, help prevent community outbreaks of HIV and Hepatitis, and decrease contaminated needle sticks to our first responders and residents.”

Harm reduction services include: testing, treatment and prevention of HIV, Hepatitis C, and Sexually Transmitted Infections; naloxone training & distribution; linkage to needed community services including treatment for drug addiction; wound care; syringe exchange including collection and safe disposal of used syringes.

For more information about harm reduction and other upcoming community presentations, please visit: www.smchd.org/harmreduction or contact the St. Mary’s County Health Department at (301) 475-4330.