PUEBLO- The Southern Colorado Harm Reduction Association hasn’t been around very long, but in its short time, it’s helped dozens of people in Pueblo move forward as they struggle with opioid addiction.
A problem that’s becoming more common throughout the United States.
Led by Judy Solano, a nurse, and Dr. Michael Nerenberg- their medical expertise is just one part of the equation in bringing in a vulnerable group of people through their doors.
The center is located just off of Routt and Northern Avenues in Pueblo, and every Saturday the empty building brings in many people looking for some help.
Some of them looking to recover from their addiction, others looking for someone to talk to and get answers- something many of them don’t have.
‘You know, no one wants to recognize their humanity and [that] they’re people, they’re people,’ said Nerenberg. ‘Some of them are more colorful than others, but they’re people with a problem and they out to be treated as such as, people with a problem as opposed to ‘Oh those people,’ said Nerenberg.
Among the services the association provides is giving out free Narcan (a nasal spray used to treat emergency cases of opioid overdose).
In many pharmacies, people that are struggling with opioid addiction can receive free Narcan.
However, sometimes that situation can be scary for people, feeling ashamed of what they’ve been through.
Which is why the Southern Colorado Harm Reduction Association is providing services such as Narcan access, needle take back, and acudetox, in addition to providing a safe space for people to come and receive help.
If you know anyone who might be struggling with addiction, the association is located at 1249 E. Routt Ave, and is open every Saturday from 1p.m.-4p.m.