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Harm Reduction Supplies

OHRDP coordinates the distribution of harm reduction supplies to Needle Syringe Programs through a licensed distributor, providing sterile, single-use equipment with product information sheets to help prevent disease transmission and reduce the potential health risks associated with drug use. To order supplies from OHRDP, you must be from a Needle Syringe Program directly reporting to, or contracted by, a Public Health Unit in Ontario. The supplies provided through OHRDP compliment the needles and syringes provided through Public Health.

Alcohol Swabs

The sterile alcohol swabs provided through OHRDP are non-woven fabric, individually wrapped in sterile, water-resistant packages, and are intended for single-use only. Active ingredients include 70% isopropyl alcohol. Alcohol swabs are used to clean the skin around the injection site before using.

Best Practices:

Alcohol swabs are used to clean the injection site before injecting. After injecting, use the dry swab found in the cooker package, never an alcohol swab.

Sterile Filters

The filters provided through OHRDP are sterile, dense pellets in blister packs of 5 filters (Steri5) or included with individually packaged cookers (Stericup or One-Use Cooker). Both filters have a pore width of 5-10┬Ám. The Steri5 filter measures 6mm x 6mm and the One-Use filter measures 6mm x 8mm. A filter is placed in the cooker once the drug solution has been heated and allowed to cool. The solution is drawn through the filter into the syringe in order to trap small particles and prevent them from being injected. Filters are effective to filter particles from the solution but not for the removal of bacteria or viruses.

Best Practices:

A new sterile filter is needed for every injection. It reduces transmission of blood borne pathogens and removes particles that should not be injected.

Sterile Cookers

There are 3 types of cookers provided through OHRDP: Stericup, Spoon, and One-Use Cooker. The Spoon and One-Use Cooker are made of stainless steel, while the Stericup is made of aluminum. These materials allow the cooker to be heated to a boil quickly. The Stericup and One-Use Cooker are packaged with a sterile filter & post-injection dry swab. All 3 cookers are sterile and a much safer container to mix drugs in than tablespoons, cans, or bottle caps.

Best Practices:

Sterile cookers are used to prepare drugs for injection. Using a new cooker every time will reduce transmission of HIV, hepatitis C, bacterial and other infections.

Sterile Water

Sterile water provided through OHRDP is inhalation grade water for injection use. It comes in single-use 3ml plastic ampoules to be used to prepare drugs for injection. It is sterile, non-pyrogenic, preservative free, and contains no bacteriostatic agent. Sterile water is mixed with powder or solid forms of drugs then heated in a cooker in order to convert the drugs into an injectable solution.

Best Practices:

Sterile water is needed to dissolve drugs from solid form. A new sterile water ampoule is needed for every injection to prevent transmission of blood borne pathogens and bacterial infection.

Tourniquets

OHRDP provides thin, pliable, latex-free, non-porous, quick-release tourniquets. These single-person tourniquets are less likely to cause trauma to the veins than other commonly used ties such as belts, bandanas, condoms, wire, rope, or shoelaces. Made of thermoplastic elastomer, these tourniquets have the ability to stretch as required and return to their original length (18 inches long) upon removal. This material has thermal properties which allow it to withstand a broad range of temperatures.

Best Practices:

When it is difficult to find a vein, use a proper tourniquet. It is important to learn how to use a tourniquet safely.

Ascorbic Acid

Individually in 100mg sachets which are air tight and water resistant. It is important to verify the expiry date prior to using the single-use Vitamin C sachets in order to ensure effectiveness. Vit C is used to convert insoluble drugs like brown heroin / crack-cocaine into a water-soluble solution. The smallest amount of acidifier should be used (a pinch) as too much can cause harm to your veins.

Best Practices:

If an acidifier is needed to dissolve drugs, use the smallest amount possible to reduce risk of vein damage. Only use pharmacy grade vitamin C.

Straight Stems

Straight stems are made from low expansion borosilicate glass (Pyrex) which is resistant to high temperatures. The straight stems distributed through OHRDP are intended for vaping / smoking. They are 100mm long and have an 11mm diameter.

Best Practices:

A straight stem is used for smoking crack cocaine. Always use brass screens and a mouthpiece with the straight stem to prevent cuts, burns and reduce the transmission risks of HIV and hepatitis C.

Push Sticks

Push Sticks provided through OHRDP are birch wood dowels that are 7 inches long and 1/4 inch in diameter. Push sticks are used to pack and position screens inside the straight stem and can be used to recover the resin that accumulates in the pipe.

Best Practices:

A wooden push stick is used to bend or position brass screens in a straight stem. Never use makeshift sticks that could chip or crack the glass stem.

Brass Screens

Screens provided through OHRDP are made of thin, porous, brass metal sheets. They are high heat resistant, pliable, and have no chemical coating. They allow for inhalation of drug vapour. Five screens are provided in each individual envelope.

Best Practices:

Brass screens are used in a straight stem. When positioned properly they can prevent burns to the mouth and throat. Brass screens are non-toxic and less likely to break apart when heated.

Bowl Pipes

The bowl pipes provided through OHRDP are made of low expansion borosilicate glass (Pyrex). The diameter of the bowl is 25mm, with a 7mm hole on top. The diameter of the stem is 10mm, slightly smaller than straight stem pipes, and therefore requires a smaller tubing for mouthpieces. The bowl pipes distributed through OHRDP are used primarily for smoking crystal meth.

Best Practices:

Bowl pipes are used for smoking crystal meth. Always use a mouthpiece to prevent cuts, burns and reduce the spread of HIV, HCV and other harms.

Mouthpieces

The mouthpieces distributed through OHRDP are composed of latex free, food-grade vinyl tubing. OHRDP provides two sizes of tubing: one to fit on the straight stem and one to fit on the bowl pipe. The tubing provided through OHRDP comes in 100 foot rolls. Each individual core Needle Syringe Program is responsible for cutting the tubing into pieces for service users. Tube-cutters are available through OHRDP upon request.

Best Practices:

Mouthpieces reduce the risk of burns, cuts and protect lips from chipped or cracked stems. Always use your own mouthpiece for safety.

Foil

The Foil distributed through OHRDP is made specifically for smoking/vaping. This product is a strong 20 gauge foil which means it is thicker than general household foil. It comes in a package of 24 individual sheets, with each sheet measuring 10cm x 22cm. This foil is not coated with oil and is not texturized. Foil is used as a heating surface for drugs that will be vaped or inhaled.

Best Practices:

Foil is used to smoke/vape drugs. This foil is made specifically for smoking drugs; it is thicker than store bought foil and has no oil coating.

Paper Straws

The 3.5 inch paper straws provided through OHRDP are biodegradable and are intended for single-use only. These straws come in two colours: yellow and blue. They can be used for snorting or for inhaling vapor.

Best Practices:

Paper straws are used for snorting or chasing the dragon. They can reduce harms such as scratches or tears associated with snorting drugs. Straws should never be shared.

Benzalkonium (BZK) Wipes

The antiseptic BZK wipes provided through OHRDP are non-woven fabric, individually wrapped in sterile, water-resistant packages. BZK wipes are single-use and support hand washing when soap and water are not available. Active ingredients include 0.13% Benzalkonium (BZK) Chloride.

Best Practices:

BZK Wipes are an antiseptic towlette for washing hands when soap and water are not available. Always wash hands before handling harm reduction supplies.