New harm reduction service brings overdose prevention to the streets

Arapahoe County Public Health uses equity-focused approach to overdose prevention with new mobile service 
ARAPAHOE COUNTY – Feb. 22, 2024 – In an effort to better respond to the needs of people who use narcotics and other drugs—and to address the toll of opioids and overdose on the community—Arapahoe County Public Health is launching a new mobile harm reduction service called Prevention Point. On Tuesday, Feb. 27, County officials and Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser will unveil the program and share more about this new initiative, as well as its impact on residents.  
The Arapahoe County Public Health Harm Reduction team has served clients through fixed-location services and street outreach since opening its doors in January 2023. However, during the department’s the first year of operation, the team identified a significant need to remove barriers to accessing services by offering them outside of public buildings.    
“When Arapahoe County Public Health received grant funding from the Colorado Opioid Abatement Council, it was crucial we utilized it to do something that could truly make a difference,” said Jennifer Ludwig, public health director.  “We know that opioids don’t discriminate, and we know that the opioid crisis has affected all communities in the Denver Metro Area. Our goal in starting mobile harm reduction services is to maximize impact and ultimately save lives.” 
Harm reduction services are proven strategies that keep communities safer and healthier. Evidence shows that strong harm reduction programs reduce the spread of disease, increase the rate of proper syringe disposal, and increase the likelihood of individuals accessing critical services, such as Naloxone for overdose reversal.  
Mobile services help build stronger relationships and trust with individuals, which is critical to accessing the services that can help change lives.  
Prevention Point offers Arapahoe County the opportunity to innovate for and partner with a community that is often overlooked and stigmatized, though they are acutely affected by the harm opioids have had on our society.  
Media are invited to learn more about Prevention Point and the importance of innovative harm reduction efforts in Arapahoe County and beyond. 
Who:     Arapahoe Board of County Commissioners 

What:   Mobile Harm Reduction Services Kickoff 

When:  8:30 a.m. – 9:15 a.m., Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2024 
Where: 5335 South Prince Street, Littleton, CO 80120 
Additional Stops: 

·          Giving Heart Englewood10–10:45 a.m.  

·         Town of Bennett Town Hall1–1:45 p.m.  

·         Arapahoe County Public Health at Altura Plaza2:30–3:15 p.m.   

Photo Opportunities: Tour of the vehicle. Board of County Commissioners, Board of Health, Public Health Officials, Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser will be available for interviews.  
Arapahoe County provides the best of everything Colorado has to offer. From babies to boomers and beyond, residents put down roots, raise families, start and run businesses, and embrace the endless opportunities and amenities that make the state unique. Arapahoe County spans 805 miles and features vibrant urban, suburban and rural communities, an unparalleled open space and trail system, major employment centers and a robust multimodal transportation network. Learn more at arapahoeco.gov. 

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