Harm Reduction Counseling
Harm reduction is a philosophy that states abstinence is not the only option to treat harmful life choices. This practice does not promote harmful behaviors but acknowledges and focuses on evidence that can help reduce danger to people who choose to engage in certain activities. Blue Sky harm reduction counseling was established to help those in need be aware of resources that can help prevent overdose deaths.
Every day 190 people die as a result of an overdose. Meaning that there are over 70,000 preventable deaths per year. Synthetic opioids are currently the main driver of drug overdose deaths (CDC Data). Opioids are a class of drugs including medication such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, and methadone. These opioids are often prescribed to treat pain.
How to recognize an overdose
Recognizing an opioid overdose can be challenging. If you spot the following signs, call 911 or seek medical care for the individual immediately. Whatever you do, don’t leave the person alone. Signs of an opioid overdose include:
- Constricted, small pupils
- Loss of consciousness or falling asleep
- Shallow, slow breathing
- Gurgling or choking sounds
- Limp body
- Pale, blue, or cold skin
Overdose deaths can also be prevented with the help of harm reduction services.
Harm Reduction Services
Blue Sky Counseling aims to help individuals and communities by using evidence-based strategies to reduce the risk of dying from an overdose. Our focus is on supporting people who use drugs, as well as people that love people using drugs, with the resources to mitigate the risks of overdose.
Evidence-Based Strategies For Preventing Opioid Overdose
Naloxone is a non-addictive, life-saving drug that can rapidly reverse the effects of an opioid overdose and restore natural respiration if it is issued in time. Naloxone can be administered through nose spray or by injection. Equipping individuals who are most likely to encounter or witness a drug overdose with Naloxone can help save a life in an emergency situation.
Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) and Medication for Opioid Use Disorder (MOUD)
FDA-approved medications are the backbone of this treatment option. When coupled with counseling and other support services, MAT and MOUD allows people who are addicted to opiates the opportunity to regain a normal state of mind without experiencing the highs and lows of opioid withdrawal.
Syringe Services Programs (SSPs)
SSPs, or syringe services programs, help provide access to and disposal of sterile syringes and injection equipment, vaccination, testing, and linkage to infectious disease care. This program can also serve as a critical step towards receiving mental health and substance abuse counseling.
Blue Sky Harm Reduction Model
Blue Sky Counseling understands and recognizes the realities of poverty, class, racism, social isolation, past trauma, and other social inequalities. Many of these factors affect both people’s vulnerability and capacity for dealing with drug-related harm and other disorders. Harm reduction was originally and most frequently associated with alcohol and drug abuse (Substance Abuse). However, harm reduction treatment programs are increasingly being applied to numerous other behavioral disorders.
As a licensed mental health professional in Omaha, NE, I work with the client to reduce the harms and harmful effects of illicit drug use. My philosophy starts by meeting people where they are in their journey. I use a harm reduction therapy approach that is empathetic, understanding, and non-judgmental in order to best serve my clients.
Get Help & Start Your Journey Today
Together we will use evidence-based methods and explore creative ways to reduce negative consequences.
When you’re ready to start your journey to recovery, contact Blue Sky harm reduction counseling in Omaha.