WHEELING, W.Va. (WTRF) – West Virginia Northern Community College hosted their Northern Panhandle Harm Reduction Summit addressing strategies and community health frameworks for people who use drugs. 

For those who may not know, harm reduction consists of services for drug users to protect themselves, as well as others in the community. 

Prevention Point Pittsburgh is a syringe service program giving out safer injection supplies to prevent the spread of HIV and Hepatitis C amongst users. 

They hosted one of the many informative sessions today. 

”Our message is that people who use drugs are people who deserve basic, public healthcare as much as we all do,” said Overdose Prevention Project Coordinator for Prevention Point Pittsburgh, Alice Bell.

”It’s amazing to know that the people here – we have a lot of people that are really going to be well-informed. They are going to be going out and doing their jobs and hopefully we’re going to be coming together and the last session is going to be all of us taking what we just learned today and coming up with some ideas for our own communities moving forward.”

Martha Polinsky – YSS Office of Drug Control Policy Region Coordinator

West Virginia has shut down a number of syringe service programs across the state, which can make it difficult for users to find clean and sterile means. 

The skills attendees received today have the potential to save lives, under any circumstance.