A safe place – a special place – opened October 4 at the Saginaw County Health Department. Room 202 will be open every Tuesday 9am-3pm offering lifesaving resources to those who use drugs including clean syringes, injection supplies, smoking and snorting supplies, wound care supplies, and hygiene kits along with NARCAN and fentanyl test strips.
Room 202 is a judgment-free space where people can connect with friendly faces, ask questions, and pick up free supplies to reduce their risk for disease transmission, illness, or accidental overdose, says Rebekah Willard, RN, BSN, public health nurse at the Saginaw County Health Department. Coaches from Peer 360 will be on hand as well.
As part of the health department’s harm reduction strategy, Room 202 has been in the works for months, according to Willard. It was made possible by a community-wide effort to change ordinances allowing users to exchange syringes without penalty for carrying drug paraphernalia.
"Harm reduction" is an evidence-based approach to reducing the negative personal and public health impacts of substance use. It allows community "helpers" like the health department, police and first responders to engage very high risk and hard-to-reach individuals in comprehensive, free programs and services to prevent the spread of diseases like hepatitis and HIV, prevent overdoses, and prevent deaths.
Room 202 can be reached by phone at 989-758-3802.
Syringe Services Program
What will it do?
- Educate on harm reduction strategies when using drugs
- Provide access to items needed to use drugs more safely
- Provide Narcan and Narcan Education
- Provide Fentanyl Test strips
- Referrals to needed resources like housing, food, medical or treatment
- Referrals to our STI services and testing
- Provide wound care and hygiene supplies
- Provide access to a recovery coach
What supplies are available?
Any item that comes in-contact with bodily fluids should only be used one time!
This can include:
Safer Injection Supplies: syringes, cookers, cotton filters, sterile water, ascorbic acid, and tourniquets (ties)
Safer snorting or smoking supplies
Straws, pipes, filters, push sticks, plastic razor, sterile surface
Any item that reduces harm for a drug user will help improve their health
Naloxone Vending Machine
A Naloxone vending machine was installed September 19th at the Saginaw County Health Department (SCHD). It is the first of its kind within the Great Lakes Bay Region and a vital tool to address the opioid crisis and the stigma of substance use.
At no charge, the vending machine dispenses: 1) fentanyl test strips to detect the presence of fentanyl in street drugs, and 2) Naloxone (also known as Narcan), a life-saving opioid overdose-reversal tool that bystanders can use to revive an individual long enough to get paramedics on the scene. These products are free to anyone — no questions asked and no identification required — Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. -5 p.m., in the SCHD lobby, 1600 N. Michigan Avenue in Saginaw.