Inland Empire Harm Reduction (IEHR) is a volunteer-run public health project led by local members of our community. Our mission is to improve the health and well-being of individuals affected by drug use in Riverside and in surrounding areas. We are trained to provide syringe support and retrieval, as well as overdose prevention in an opioid epidemic that claimed the lives of 72,000 people in 2017.
We are a group of largely queer, working class folks who have all lost something or someone to this epidemic. We are drug users, former drug users, and friends and family members of drug users who advocate for our right to free healthcare in an area where access is simply not available. We seek to end that. We are dedicated to partnering with other community organizations in the Inland Empire so that we can make the biggest impact and have the broadest reach, for who knows the needs of our community better than we do? Every dollar we raise will go directly to our community. It will allow us to continue to purchase supplies such as Narcan (Naloxone), an opioid overdose antidote which we freely provide our clients and community members. We train each individual so they can actively do their part in stopping accidental death from overdose. IEHR is currently the only harm reduction project accessible to folks living in the Inland Empire, a vast area that covers more mass than some states. Without our services, which provides access to clean supplies that prevent the spread of disease as well as overdose prevention for no cost, folks are forced to drive hours into Los Angeles or pay exorbitant costs at local pharmacies, assuming they have means of transportation. This moneywill assist in paying the fee ($400 - 850) associated with filing for 501c3 nonprofit status, which is required to receive regular funding. It will also allow us to purchase a vehicle for our mobile outreach team, where we will perform rapid HIV/Hep C testing, Fentanyl testing, as well as our routine services.
Harm reduction projects are vital to the health and well-being of individuals and of communities: - The CDC reports that deaths from drug overdose have increased five-fold in the US since 1990. 66% of overdose deaths are the direct result of opioid use. - California hospitals treated more than 11,500 patients suffering an opioid or heroin overdose in 2013 alone. That's roughly one overdose every 45 minutes. - Nationwide, homeless populations remain some of the most heavily affected. Although the CDC suggests that only 11.4% of overdose deaths are caused by opioid use in the general population, it is response for 17-18% of all deaths among the homeless. The Orange County Register and Sacramento Bee report that 2017 was one of the deadliest years for homeless people living in California.
IEHR Recognizes That
• Drug use is a part of our world. We seek to minimize its harmful effects rather than ignore and condemn those who use.
• The people using drugs are people. They are ourselves, our friends, our family, our loved ones, our co-workers, and our neighbors. Their lives have meaning and value. Their experiences are valid.
• Drugs users themselves are the primary agents of reducing the harms of their use, and we seek to empower users to share information and support each other in strategies which meet their actual conditions of use.
• A non-judgmental approach to treatment that meets people where they’re at and learns to respond to their needs, and the needs of the broader community these individuals represent, is essential to affecting change.
• Meaningful relationships with members of affected communities must be fostered.
• Barriers to access and use of health services to people in need should be eliminated.
• People have a right to personal freedom, privacy, and autonomy of choice.
• The realities of poverty, class, racism, social isolation, past trauma, sex-based discrimination and other social inequalities affect both people’s vulnerability to and capacity for effectively dealing with drug-related harm.
Support us in supporting our community. Thank you for your donation.