Harm reduction services are mainly focused on preventing diseases passed on by contaminated blood (particularly HIV and hepatitis infections), preventing overdose and drug-related death. Harm reduction examples include:
Needle exchange services,
Safer injecting advice and support services.
Advice and information on preventing infections associated with drug misuse, particularly hepatitis A, B and C, and HIV (blood-borne viruses)
Testing, advice, information and counselling around hepatitis and HIV
Hepatitis A and B vaccinations
Treatment for hepatitis B, C and HIV infection
Overdose prevention services and reducing drug-related death
Client assessment and onward referral where appropriate
Structured day programmes run a set of activities for a fixed period of time (e.g. 12 weeks). Clients attend these services according to a set attendance level (usually 3-5 days a week), as set out in their care plans. There is a timetable of activities which will either be the same for everyone, or be set individually for clients according to their needs. Programmes often include group work, counselling, education and life skills, and creative activities and training.
Clients usually enter inpatient treatment through referral from community drug services. It is important that adequate support is made available to people leaving inpatient treatment as this can reduce the risk of relapse.
Residential rehabilitation or rehab involves clients staying in a residential unit for weeks maybe months and a complete separation from their current social situation. Residential units normally offer a mixture of group work, counselling and practical and vocational activities. There are several types of residential rehabilitation providers:
Traditional rehab units,
Crisis intervention units - these usually offer a shorter stay
Residential treatment programmes for particular client groups
Supported accommodation, where some clients go to after rehab
As with inpatient treatment, clients will generally to refer by community drug services. People coming into rehab services will usually have often gone through detoxification before entering.
Aftercare is the support offered when clients leave structured treatment. The aim is to maintain the positive changes that clients have made in their treatment, and support them to return to normal life. Examples include support for housing, education, employment, general health care and relapse prevention.