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What is Harm Reduction?

“Little Victories: Lexington, Kentucky”

A short documentary film by Katherine Tackett that puts a human face on the opioid crisis in the community.

To find treatment
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What is it?

A set of practical strategies and ideas aimed at reducing negative consequences associated with drug use.

What is a Harm Reduction Syringe Service Program (HRSSP)?

HRSSPs are community-based programs that provide access to sterile needles and syringes, safe disposal of used syringes, and other comprehensive harm reduction services.

Harm Reduction Syringe Service Program (HRSSP) Principles

A commitment to respecting the human rights of people who use drugs

A commitment to practices that are based on scientific evidence

A commitment to social justice and collaborating with community partners

A commitment to reducing the impact of stigma related to drug use

A commitment to encourage participant involvement on the path to recovery

What can a HRSSP do?

Infectious disease testing (HIV and Hepatitis C)

Referral for other clinical services such as STD testing

Referral to substance use treatment

Referral to medical care, mental health services, and other support services

Referral to community agencies to assist with basic needs (e.g. food and shelter)

Vaccines for diseases like Hepatitis A

Access to Narcan

The Mercer County Health Department’s Harm Reduction Syringe Exchange Program (HRSEP)

Harm Reduction Syringe Exchange Program (HRSEP) has been modeled after successful programs in Kentucky and according to guidance provided by the Kentucky Department for Public Health as well as by Senate Bill 192 as enacted by the Kentucky General Assembly in 2015.

The program is open to anyone who uses injection drugs.

Exchange of syringes and rapid HIV testing will be provided anonymously. Other services like repeat HIV testing, testing for Hep C, STD’s and pregnancy, as well as immunizations, must be done confidentially.

Syringes and anonymous HIV testing will be provided free of charge. Clinical services beyond the exchange of syringes and the rapid HIV test may be billed per regular sliding scale fee or to a third party if participant is enrolled. No participant will be turned away for inability to pay.

All participants are required to agree to a list of Participants Rights and Responsibilities. Items covered by this list include safe disposal of contaminated equipment, and refraining from drug use on Health Department property. Violations can result in dismissal from the program.

Public Health Nurses, with training in blood-borne diseases, STD’s etc., will provide anonymous services and confidential services according to protocols approved by the Kentucky Department for Public Health.

Casey’s Law and The Good Samaritan Law

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FREE Naloxone (NARCAN)

When to use naloxone nasal spray?

The Mercer County Health Department is accepting applications for a full time Public Health Nurse I
General Duties include:
This position serves under the direction of the Director. Responsibilities for this position include, but are not limited to: Provides entry-level nursing functions and services to individuals and families under close supervision in a clinic or community setting, focusing on the prevention of illness, injury or disability, the promotion of health and maintenance of the health of populations. The nurse in this classification would receive job specific training in the requirements and scope of practice of the various assigned health department programs and services.Health department services are provided to all age populations. A brief description of health department services include adult and child immunizations, well child examinations, family planning exams, WIC services/promotion, dental varnish for children, pandemic response, public health preparedness, basic patient care, harm reduction services and promotion of the health department within the community.
Minimum Education, Training or Experience:
See special requirements.
Special Requirements:
(Age, Licensure, Regulation, Etc.) Must have RN license in Kentucky or compact state or provisional license in Kentucky, meeting all requirements of KRS 314.041.
Starting Salary:
$20.30-$25.24/hr negotiable with additional experience. Grade 17
Apply at https://KOG.CHFS.KY.GOV/HOME. Create a citizen account and search LHDCOS (search and apply) Completed application must be submitted by November 11, 2022. Transcripts must be provided before the close date if post-secondary education is required or may be substituted for experience. Transcripts must list the degree awarded.  Qualified applicants/employees are subject to a pre-screening, selection for interview, and/or demonstration of skills testing.  Employment may be contingent upon a successful drug screening and background check.  Equal Opportunity Employer.