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Frequently Asked Questions

Harm Reduction

What is harm reduction?

Harm reduction is a set of practical strategies and ideas aimed at reducing negative consequences associated with drug use. Harm Reduction is also a movement for social justice built on a belief in, and respect for, the rights of people who use drugs.

Can I exchange syringes at Caracole?

Caracole is one of several syringe service locations run by Hamilton County Public Health in the region. We host their exchange every Thursday evening from 5:00–7:30 PM at our Northside office.

What kind of services can I get during exchange?

Hamilton County Public Health provides free access to sterile syringes and safe disposal of used syringes during the exchange.

Caracole’s FREE services include:

  • Vending machine registration
  • Help with PrEP (a medication that prevents HIV infection) access
  • Naloxone and fentanyl test strips
  • Safer use equipment, including cookers, sterile water and bleach
  • Overdose prevention education and safer sex materials
  • Tests for HIV and hepatitis C
  • Referrals to social services and treatment, if desired
  • Brown bag lunches (when available) from our partners at Our Daily
Where can I get naloxone?

Life-saving naloxone, also known as Narcan, is available free from Caracole’s harm reduction team. Free naloxone—both spray and intramuscular—is also available 24/7/365 from our harm reduction vending machine located outside the rear entrance at:
Caracole
4138 Hamilton Avenue
Cincinnati, OH 45223

For more information on how to access our vending machine supplies, see  the “Machine Access” section at caracole.org/what-we-do/safer-use-supplies.

You can also visit nextdistro.org/hro for more locations/ways to get free naloxone.

What if I can’t get to your exchange site?

That’s okay. Hamilton County Public Health hosts several other sites throughout the week. For up-to-date information on exchange dates, times, and locations, text “Locations” to 22999 to be signed up for automatic text messages from Hamilton County Public Health every day there is an exchange. Message will include syringe exchange location and time details, as well as cancellation notifications. You can also check out their Facebook page.

In the meantime, Caracole’s harm reduction team can provide HIV and Hepatitis C testing and education, as well as provide naloxone, fentanyl test strips, and other safer drug use supplies for FREE through our harm reduction vending machine. Give us a call or text 513.399.6969 to learn more.

Is there a safer way to use drugs?

Yes, there are many things that we can do to take care of ourselves and reduce the risks associated with using drugs. To learn more, check out our Safer Use Tips article.

What if I don’t want to use drugs anymore?

We can help. Our harm reduction team works alongside people to identify their goals and come up with a strategy to meet your needs.

Don’t see your question?

Send us a message and we will respond back as soon as we can.

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