Harm Reduction

Harm reduction refers to a range of services and policies that lessen the adverse consequences of drug use and protect public health. Unlike approaches that insist that people stop using drugs, harm reduction acknowledges that many people are not able or willing to abstain from illicit drug use, and that abstinence should not be a precondition for help.

If you choose to use, make sure you’re using safely. Testing your drugs to make sure they are not laced with fentanyl could be the difference between life and a fatal overdose.

You can get testing strips through your local syringe access or harm reduction program. Strips can also be ordered online directly from BTNX.

To use the strips, follow these steps:

  • Testers can dissolve the drug they want to test in water. Just a small amount of the drug is needed.
  • Next, dip the test strip into the liquid for 15 seconds.
  • Remove the test strip and set the strip on a flat surface until results appear, usually within 5 minutes.
  • One line means that fentanyl is present; two lines mean it is not.

For a how-to video on using a testing strip, view this how-to video from BTNX, Inc.

For information on where to find Narcan® (naloxone), visit the following sites:

For information on Syringe Services Programs, visit:

Information from the Project TLC Program for HIV-positive individuals out of prison, including the Connecticut AIDS Drug Assistance Program (CADAP):

Project TLC transitional case management, medical transportation and referrals to individuals for 30-60 days following release.

Learn More

Information from the Harm Reduction Coalition for inmates:

Overdose Education and Naloxone Distribution Programs in Jails and Prisons

Learn More

Information from RTI International for inmates:

A Primer for Implementation of Overdose Education and Naloxone Distribution in Jails and Prisons

Learn More

Emergency Shelter Information:

Learn More

Greater Hartford Harm Reduction Coalition: Syringe Services Programs:

For a complete and up to date listing of all CT Syringe Services Programs please visit:

Learn More

Additional Harm Reduction Resources:

AIDS CT
110 Bartholomew Avenue, Suite #3050, Hartford, CT 06106
(860) 247-2437
Program Contact:
Latoya Tyson OR Norman Lebron
ltyson@aids-ct.org
ALLIANCE FOR LIVING
154 Broad Street, New London, CT 06320
(860) 447-0884 ext. 233
Program Contact:
Carol Jones
cjones@allianceforliving.org
APEX
85 West Street, Danbury, CT 06810
(203) 778-2437
Program Contact:
Paisley Reardan
preardan@apexcc.org
FAMILY CENTERS (STAMFORDCARES)
888 Washington Boulevard, 8th Floor, Stamford, CT 06901
(203) 977-5296
Program Contact:
Lauren Gau
lgau@stamfordct.gov
GBAPP / RECOVERY OF NETWORK OF PROGRAMS
1470 Barnum Avenue, Suite #301 Bridgeport, CT 06610
(203) 366-8255
Program Contact:
Nancy Kingwood
nkingwood@gbapp.org
LIBERTY COMMUNITY SERVICES
210 State Street, Storefront, New Haven, CT 06510
(203) 497-2323
Program Contact:
Silvia Moscariello
silvia.moscariello@libertycs.org
MID-FAIRFIELD AIDS PROJECT
618 West Avenue, Norwalk, CT 06850
(203) 855-9535 ext. 107
Program Contact:
Erma Benedetto
ebenedetto@mfap.com
PERCEPTION PROGRAM, INC.
54 North Street, PO Box 407 Willimantic, CT 06226
(860) 450-7248
Program Contact:
Morgan North
morgan.north@perceptionprograms.org
SEX WORKERS AND ALLIES NETWORK - SWAN
TBA
(475) 441-4350
Program Contact:
Evan Serio
eserioswan@gmail.com
UNCAS HEALTH DISTRICT
401 West Thames Street, Suite #106 Norwich, CT 06360
(860) 823-1189 ext. 123
Program Contact:
Susan Dubb, RN
sdubb@uncashd.org
WATERBURY HEALTH DEPARTMENT
154 Broad Street, New London, CT 06320
(203) 574-6883
Program Contact:
Samuel Bowens
sbowens@waterburyct.org
YALE UNIVERSITY CHCV
One Jefferson Square 2nd Floor, Suite #17, Waterbury, CT 06706
(203) 737-4047
Program Contact:
Sharon Joslin
sharon.joslin@yale.edu

What Is It?

Legal, pharmaceutical fentanyl is a synthetic opioid pain reliever that is 50 to 100 times more powerful than morphine. Most cases of fentanyl-related harm, overdose, and death in the U.S. are linked to illegally made fentanyl sold on the street for its heroin-like effect.

What Does It Do?

A small pinpoint of fentanyl is enough to lead to death when used without a doctor prescribing it. Some may think a drug being laced with fentanyl is only an issue for heroin or cocaine users, when in reality, it’s being found in a multitude of other drugs, from pills to powders to leaf.

For more information on fentanyl, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Side effects

  • Drowsiness or fatigue
  • Confusion
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Tightness in the throat
  • Stiff or rigid muscles
  • Constricted pupils
  • Physical weakness
  • Itching
  • Depressed breathing, shallow breaths, or irregular breaths
  • Slowed heartbeat
  • Sweating
  • Flushing
  • Constipation
  • Dry mouth
  • Nausea

Side effects

  • Signs of an overdose
  • Restlessness
  • Excessive yawning
  • Runny nose
  • Tearing or watery eyes
  • Trouble falling or staying asleep
  • Pain in the muscles, joints, or back
  • Enlarged pupils
  • Anxiety, irritability, or mood swings
  • Physical weakness
  • Loss of appetite and stomach cramps
  • Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
  • Rapid breathing and heart rate

Those who are experiencing an overdose should seek medical help immediately.

Source: https://americanaddictioncenters.org/fentanyl-treatment/side-effects