#PeersInThePandemic Demand 3 – Prioritise Peer-led Responses in Harm Reduction
Peers are central to the COVID-19 response in their communities. We call for the prioritisation of peer-led responses by directing funding towards harm reduction services led by peers as community members, and to facilitate peer secondary distribution for essential harm reduction supplies such as new injecting equipment, naloxone distribution and overdose prevention education, etc.
Hashtag of the week: #PowerOfPeers
Please use this along with #PeersInThePandemic and #HarmReduction all week
Sample social media text:
- Peer-led #HarmReduction leads to positive health outcomes for people who use drugs #PowerOfPeers #PeersInThePandemic
- More people using alone during #COVID19 means #naloxone is more crucial than ever. Support peer distribution of naloxone #PowerOfPeers #PeersInThePandemic
- With rising #overdose numbers during #COVID19 it’s critical to prioritise peer-led education in #HarmReduction #PowerOfPeers #PeersInThePandemic
- Safe injecting equipment is best distributed by those who use them. Give peers the resources to save lives #PowerOfPeers #PeersInThePandemic
Relevant data collected from INPUD's peer research on COVID-19.
- Respondents to our surveys have identified peers and community as major supporters during COVID-19 by providing harm reduction supplies, helping with advocacy, looking after each other, cooking, helping with children and many others acts of community building in the absence of adequate state responses.
- Innovative peer-led harm reduction programmes have been critical for reducing drug-related harms during lockdowns.
- In countries which have scaled-up harm reduction programmes during COVID-19, peer outreach models have generally been supported.
- In countries where lockdown measures have limited harm reduction service availability, peer-run services have been overwhelmed as the only option available for people who use drugs.