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(Photo by @plqml // felipe pelaquim on Unsplash)

A key tenet of harm reduction is meeting people who use drugs where they’re at. The coronavirus challenged advocates’ ability to do just that, prompting them to think differently about how they provide and deliver services.

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“I need help with direct stuff like free maintenance programs, a stable home, legal help so I can sit and get grounded, and relax. I need a place to sit down.” (Photo by Chicago Recovery Alliance participant.)

People who inject drugs typically aren’t part of traditional advocacy because of risks associated with going public. But a local research project allows them to share their experiences without the fear of potential repercussions.

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Community health educator Karen Daniels assembles a naloxone kit on Friday, Dec. 7, 2018. (Kristen Thometz / Chicago Tonight)

Dozens of Chicagoans trained to recognize and respond to opioid overdoses in their communities have distributed more than 7,000 naloxone kits across the city since March.