Access to fact-based resources, such as those listed below, can help. No matter what the circumstances, inform yourself, and make the best choices possible for your own health.
COVID-19 is about as infectious as the flu virus. Learn more about how to stay healthy and safe at www.tpchd.org/coronavirus. Provided by the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department..
Tacoma Needle Exchange cares about the safety and well being of our participants and community and asks that we work together to properly dispose of all sharps. If you are unable to return your sharps to one of outreach locations please consider utilizing one of two disposal kiosks. In collaboration with our local Fire Department and Catholic Worker House two syringe disposal kiosks have been installed. A disposal kiosk is located at the East side of G street just South of 14th street next to the Guadalupe house community garden. The second disposal kiosk is located at the entrance of the Tacoma Fire Department Station #1, at 9th and Fawcett.
Domestic violence and abuse can happen to anyone. Abuse does not discriminate. It affects victims of any age, gender, religion, sexual orientation, race, or economic standing. This is especially true when the abuse is psychological, rather than physical. Noticing and acknowledging the signs of an abusive relationship are the first steps to ending it. If you recognize yourself or someone you know in an abusive relationship, reach out now. There is help available. No one should live in fear of the person they love.
Domestic violence often occurs when the abusive partner believes that abuse is an entitlement, acceptable, justified, or unlikely to be reported.
Domestic violence can be defined as a pattern of behavior in any relationship that is used to gain or maintain power and control over an intimate partner.
Abuse can range anywhere from physical to sexual, emotional, economic or psychological actions or threats of actions that influence another person.
Does your partner:
Call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE).
LGBT National Hotline: Call The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) National Hotline at 1-888-843-4564
"Needle Exchange is a proven method of prevention, so no matter how much I get slapped around, it's rewarding to know I'm serving others and serving the truth." -Dave Purchase
Below are some helpful links, downloads, and educational tools from friends far and wide.
Food banks acquire donated food and grocery products, much of which would otherwise be wasted, from farms, manufacturers, distributors, retail stores, consumers, and other sources, and make it available to those in need through a network of community agencies.
Local Hot Meals
425 South Tacoma Way
Tacoma, WA 98402
Drop-in Breakfast Daily: 7am-8am
Drop-in Dinner Daily: 5pm-6pm
Bus Route Pierce Transit #48 - 0.25 mile walk
1417 South G Street
Tacoma, WA 98405
Every Tuesday: Doors open at 5pm
423 Martin Luther King Jr., Way
Tacoma, WA 98402
Open the 1st and 3rd Monday of each month: 5pm to 7pm
4th Saturday of each month: 10am to 1pm
Bus Route Pierce Transit # 26
Please call (253) 502-2723 for advance reservations
Infectious diseases are a leading cause of illness and death throughout the world. Arm yourself with the knowledge to prevent bloodborne pathogens and infectious diseases.
Listed below are only a few infectious diseases and bloodborne pathogens for more detailed information please visit https://www.cdc.gov/
The following is not intended to be a complete list of all syringes, nicknames, etc. The following gauges and terms are common to our local exchanges.
Used for participants that have scarred veins.
"Standards" or "Regulars"
Used as a standard syringe
Used for small veins and participants who inject in areas such as hands and feet.
"Shorts" or "Bee Stingers"
Used for surface vein injection.
Educate yourself about what your rights are and how to exercise them.
EVERYONE HAS RIGHTS. These tips are brought to you by ACLU Washington please visit https://www.aclu-wa.org/docs/what-do-if-you-are-stopped-police-0 for more information.
Medication-Assisted Treatment or Medically-Assisted Treatment (MAT) is the use of medications including buprenorphine (Suboxone®, Subutex®), methadone, and extended release naltrexone (Vivitrol®) to treat substance use disorders. MAT can help relieve the symptoms of opioid withdrawal and sustain long-term recovery. MAT alone, or in combination with counseling and behavioral therapies, has demonstrated success as a method for the treatment of opioid use disorder (OUD) in some individuals struggling with opioid use. For more detailed information see the links below.
Find practitioners authorized to treat opioid dependency with buprenorphine by state. https://www.samhsa.gov/medication-assisted-treatment/practitioner-program-data/treatment-practitioner-locator
An opioid overdose can occur suddenly or take place slowly over a few hours. An overdose happens when too much of an opioid overwhelms the brain and interrupts the body's natural reaction to breathe. Naloxone or Narcan is a medication used to prevent overdoses caused by opioids such as morphine, oxycodone, or heroin. Naloxone blocks opioid receptors, reversing the effects of an opioid overdose. To receive free training and a personal naloxone kit stop by any of our outreach location or call/text (253) 334-9576.
Risk factors for an opioid overdose include:
What to do in an opioid overdose
Minutes count in an opioid overdose. If you think someone has overdosed, follow these steps:
1. Check for signs of an overdose:
2. Call 911. Tell the dispatcher your location and that someone is not breathing or is unconscious.
If you are trying to help in an overdose, WA State’s 911 Good Samaritan/Overdose Law protects both you and the overdose victim from drug possession charges.
Don’t be afraid to call 911 for help!
If you can’t stay until 911 help arrives: Place the person on their side and where first responders can find them.
3. Give naloxone and rescue breaths.
to administer rescue breathing:
Naloxone or Narcan: If you have naloxone, give one dose. Naloxone can take 2-3 minutes to work, so start giving rescue breaths. If the person is still not breathing after 2-3 minutes, give a second dose of naloxone. Continue rescue breathes until the person wakes up or medical help arrives.
Learn more about Naloxone here
In WA State, anyone who might have or witness an overdose can legally possess and administer naloxone.
To ensure you are up to date on the Good Samaritan Overdose Prevention Laws in your state click here.
4. If the person wakes up and starts breathing, stay with them. Encourage them to get follow-up care.
When naloxone wears off (generally in 30-90 minutes) the person could stop breathing again. Encourage the person to be taken to a clinic or emergency room where health care staff can:
For this information and more visit http://stopoverdose.org/section/learn-about-overdose/
Talking about a safer sex game plan should include both partners and start before having sex (including oral or anal sex). Make sure you and your partner discuss consent, boundaries, agree on a form of protection together and make decisions about getting tested for STDs.
Video provided by Planned Parenthood. For this and more information from Planned Parenthood visit plannedparenthood.org
Trojan® Gives the Facts about Condoms
Shelter services provide temporary residence for individuals and families who are temporarily displaced. Poverty, unemployment, and lack of affordable housing are the most commonly recognized causes of homelessness. If you or someone you know is in need of shelter please reach out.
According to https://www.samhsa.gov/homelessness-programs-resources/hpr-resources/housing-shelter types of housing and shelter programs include:
For individuals who inject drugs, vein care is an essential component of harm reduction.
Video 2 in a 5 part series, provided by ANKORS on safer injecting. This video covers planning and things individuals may want to educate themselves on. Scroll to 2:45 for vein care injection information.
Vein Care aims to decrease the damage done to veins for individuals who inject drugs by providing them with tools and education.
A public health strategy aimed at reducing negative consequences associated with drug use including, but not limited to, safer injection for drug users, managed drug use, and for some abstinence. Strategies are focused on meeting participants “where they are at” in an effort to gain attainable results for each individual.
Examples of Harm Reduction:
For individuals who inject drugs, skincare is an essential component of harm reduction. When a needle is being inserted into the skin, it leaves a hole that needs time to properly heal. Ensuring skin is kept clean and dry whenever possible as well as rotating injection sites and keeping any open wounds properly bandaged is always a best practice.
This video is provided by Cardinal Health. Please note this video is intended for educational purposes only and it is always best practice to visit medical professional or wound care specialist for wound care management.
If you are experiencing any of the following signs or symptoms due to wound care-related issues please seek medical attention:
It is important to remember abscesses do not go away on their own. If you are unsure how to get care talk to someone about your best option. If left untreated it could turn into a serious medical condition.