East Bay Getting to Zero
Clinical Guides, Prevention, Substance Use


This toolkit includes a template and resources to help people write safety plans to reduce the risk of overdose. Deaths and hospitalizations from substance use have been on the rise in the East Bay for the past several years, disproportionately impacting people of color, people experiencing homelessness, and people living with HIV. We take a harm reduction approach and aim to meet people wherever they’re at in their substance use journey. 

The resources on this page support people who continue to use substances. We intend to empower people to use their strengths and surrounding community to reduce harm and risk of overdose as well as protect safety and health.

How to use this toolkit:

  1. Download and use the toolkit and template to write a safety plan. (Google Doc/Word)
  2. Make sure you have naloxone (Narcan) on hand to reverse overdoses. (Get naloxone in the East Bay or in the national directory.)
  3. Learn about opiate overdose prevention and how to use naloxone. (PDFs in English and Spanish)
  4. Find out where to get sterile needles and syringes in the East Bay. (Google Sheet with current locations/hours)
  5. Watch the recording of the workshop below, which covers harm reduction strategies and how to write a safety plan. You can also download the East Bay substance use safety plan workshop notes, slides and handouts here (PDF).

This recording includes 1) a three-minute overview of East Bay substance use overdose and connection with homelessness and HIV, 2) a panel discussion on why overdoses have been rising and how to take a harm reduction approach, 3) demo on how to use naloxone, 4) example of a drug journal (component of the safety plan), and 5) walk through of writing a overdose prevention safety plan for an example case.

Summary of East Bay substance use harm reduction resources:

This toolkit was a collaborative effort between Punks with Lunch, HEPPAC, Bridge Clinic, East Bay Getting to Zero, HIV ACCESS and PAETC-Bay Area, North & Central Coast. Please send feedback to Sophy Wong, MD. Many thanks to the following substance use harm reduction experts who collaborated with us on these resources!

  • Kate O’Bryant, Outreach Coordinator, Punks with Lunch
  • Braunz Courtney, Executive Director, HEPPAC
  • Erik Anderson, MD, Associate Research Director and Attending, Substance Use Disorder Program, Bridge Clinic at Alameda Health System