Harm reduction is a set of practical strategies and ideas aimed at reducing negative consequences associated with drug use. It is also a movement for social justice built on the belief in, and respect for, the rights of people who use drugs. The Minnesota AIDS Project operates the Mainline Syringe exchange, one or the largest syringe exchanges in the state.
Guest experts Christy Rushfeldt, Jens Tamang, and Carter Peterson will lead a discussion informing participants about harm reduction as a core component of dealing with chemical dependency, HIV prevention, and public health. They will explore the different concepts of harm reduction and how taking a person-first, non-judgmental perspective helps meet clients where they are at and improves the overall health of the community. Our speakers will draw on their extensive experience to enhance the conversation with real life examples. The presentation will include information about Naloxone or Narcan, an amazing medication that reverses opiate overdoses, and how this is helping prevent overdose-related deaths in the state of Minnesota in the midst of the growing opiate epidemic.
The presentation will end with an opportunity to ask questions to our panel of speakers about the syringe exchange program, harm reduction, and Narcan.
-Christy Rushfeldt, an LADC and LICSW, has worked in the substance use and mental health field for over a decade and has worked on MAP’s Risk Reduction team for the past 5 years. She is passionate about providing client-centered, harm reduction-based and trauma informed services for people from all walks of life.
-Jens Tamang joined the MN AIDS Project in 2015, working primarily in syringe access and HIV testing and outreach. Before coming to MAP he provided care coordination for individuals living with HIV in adult foster care and served as a Projects Administrator for LGBTQ youth programs funded by the Minnesota Regional Arts Council. Jens holds a B.A. from Macalester College.
-Carter Peterson has been working for the Minnesota AIDS Project since June of 2016 as Health Educator. He holds an Associate’s Degree of Science in Human Services from Minneapolis Community and Technical College. One of Carter’s main roles in his position is to help clients get access to sterile drug equipment, and provide life-saving Naloxone training for clients who are at potential risk of overdosing from opiates.
Food and beverages will be provided for attendants. Please sign up 24 hours before the event to ensure enough food is ordered.
Training Length: 2 hours
Continuing Education Credits: Approved for 2 continuing education credits by the MN Board of Social Work and MN Board of Nursing
Cost: Individual Rate: $25.00 Student Rate: $15.00