Harm reduction is a set of strategies that aim to reduce negative consequences of drug use, by mitigating the potential dangers and health risks. UNODC has significantly expanded its HIV/AIDS programme thanks to support from harm reduction-friendly donor countries, despite ambiguities on the issue within UN drug control agencies. There is a need for up-scaling of basic services for HIV/AIDS prevention and the 'frontline' of heroin prescription and drug consumption rooms.
Harm Reduction International
The Global State of Harm Reduction e-tool is an online resource containing up-to-date information on harm reduction policy and programming around the world. The web pages draw on the latest research in this area to present an at-a-glance guide to the current state of harm reduction worldwide.
Go to the interactive map (outside link)READ MORE...
Successfully regulating the supply and use of a high-risk injectable drugTransform
A number of countries – including Switzerland, the UK, Germany, the Netherlands, Australia and Canada – prescribe heroin for use under medical supervision, as part of successful programmes to treat long-term users of illicit opioids. Heroin-assisted treatment (HAT) is significantly less common than opioid substitution treatment (OST). This is because HAT is typically reserved for opioid users who have proven unresponsive to other forms of treatment, and because it is considered more politically controversial. But despite its relatively limited availability, there is now a substantial body of evidence demonstrating the effectiveness of HAT. This evidence provides useful lessons for managing one of the most risky and problematic forms of drug use as a public health challenge, rather than a criminal justice one.
Download the briefing (PDF - outside link)READ MORE...
Harm reduction is not just an HIV intervention – it is a basic human right that should be available to everyoneThe Influence (US)
Friday, August 5, 2016
People who use drugs are being marginalized even within the world of harm reduction advocacy; they were rendered virtually invisible at the AIDS2016 conference in Durban. The true spirit of the original harm reduction movement is about meeting people where they are at, without judgement, and helping them find them achieve their drug use aims (including abstinence) in the way that causes the least harm to them, irrespective of the current legal and policy framework.
John Marks saw crime rates and junkie numbers plummet in an amazing experiment outlawed by the British governmentThe Spectator (UK)
Saturday, May 9, 2015
A century ago, in 1914, the United States banned heroin and cocaine, and it then gradually used its diplomatic might to impose this ban across the world. Doctors tried to resist here in Britain and across the world, because they believed that if addicts were forced to buy contaminated drugs from armed criminal gangs, their health would only get worse. Doctors wanted to prescribe drugs to chronic addicts. This resistance only succeeded in one country — Britain, by a doctor called John Marks. This little window of legal drug use continued quietly for decades.
Politicians may not like it, but evidence shows that giving heroin to some users reduces harmBMJ (UK)
Tuesday, April 14, 2015
No fewer than six randomised controlled trials – in Switzerland, the Netherlands, Germany, Spain, Canada, and England – concluded that heroin assisted treatment is more effective than conventional treatments in a subgroup of heroin users. The most recent Cochrane Collaboration review concurred, stating, "Available evidence suggests an added value of heroin prescribed alongside flexible doses of methadone for long term, treatment refractory, opioid users, to reach a decrease in the use of illicit substances, involvement in criminal activity and incarceration, a possible reduction in mortality, and an increase in retention in treatment."
Harm Reduction International
In 2008, Harm Reduction International released the Global State of Harm Reduction, a report that mapped responses to drug-related HIV and hepatitis C epidemics around the world for the first time.(1) The data gathered for the report provided a critical baseline against which progress could be measured in terms of the international, regional and national recognition of harm reduction in policy and practice. Since then, the biennial report has become a key publication for researchers, policymakers, civil society organisations and advocates, mapping harm reduction policy adoption and programme implementation globally.
Download the report (PDF - outside link)READ MORE...
New developments in Harm ReductionGrazia ZuffaSeries on Legislative Reform of Drug Policies Nr. 24
By taking cues from users’ self-regulation strategies, it is possible to design innovative operational models for drug services as well as drug policies, strengthening Harm Reduction as an alternative approach to the disease model. A significant body of research on cocaine users recruited outside captive populations – that is, studies based on samples of users who have not been enrolled through drug addiction services – has been carried out in many European countries and outside Europe. These studies show a variety of patterns and trajectories of use other than “addictive” use.
Download the briefing (PDF)READ MORE...
Separated Illicit Drug Markets in the NetherlandsJean-Paul Grund & Joost BreeksemaGlobal Drug Policy Program (Open Society Foundations)
Building on a long history and culture of tolerance, the Dutch responded to illicit drugs with decades of pragmatic measures free of judgment. A central element of modern Dutch drug policy was a crucial decision to establish a legal and practical separation of cannabis—judged to pose "acceptable" risks to consumers and society—from hard drugs associated with unacceptable risk. This policy effectively decriminalized possession and use of cannabis and opened the door for tolerated outlets for small-scale cannabis sales that eventually took the form of the well-known Dutch "coffee shops."
Download the report (PDF)READ MORE...
The only legally-operating injecting facility in North AmericaPeter Sarosi, Hungarian Civil Liberties Union (HCLU)Thursday, January 17, 2013
Last year the HCLU’s video advocacy group travelled to Vancouver, to make a film about Insite, the only legally-operating injecting facility in North America. When we arrived at Hastings Street, in Vancouver's downtown Eastside, where Insite is located, we were taken aback by the magnitude of the street drug scene we found there.READ MORE...
The global war on drugs is driving the HIV pandemic among people who use drugs and their sexual partners. Throughout the world, research has consistently shown that repressive drug law enforcement practices force drug users away from public health services and into hidden environments where HIV risk becomes markedly elevated. Mass incarceration of nonviolent drug offenders also plays a major role in spreading the pandemic. Today, there are an estimated 33 million people worldwide living with HIV – and injection drug use accounts for one-third of new HIV infections outside of sub-Saharan Africa.
Download the report (PDF - outside link)READ MORE...
Page 1 of 7
Drugs in the NewsMore news
HilitesUnscheduling the coca leaf
The Rise and Decline of Cannabis Prohibition
The development of international drug control
Cannabis social clubs in Spain
Tags10-year Review 20 1998 UNGASS 20 2005 CND debate 7 2016 UNGASS 111 afghanistan 11 alternative development 65 argentina 27 show all
Tags10-year Review 20 1998 UNGASS 20 2005 CND debate 7 2016 UNGASS 111 afghanistan 11 alternative development 65 argentina 27 hide
asean 4 ATS 14 australia 39 ayahuasca 3 ballot 2012 155 belgium 1 belize 6 bolivia 109 brazil 67 brownfield doctrine 23 burma 27 california 141 cambodia 7 canada 172 cannabinoids 27 cannabis 1549 cannabis clubs 142 cannabis industry 82 caribbean 40 caricom 11 central america 3 chile 18 china 14 civil society 28 CND 106 coca 166 cocaine 21 coffee shop 164 cognitive decline 22 colombia 90 colorado 138 compulsary detention 16 conventions 191 costa rica 8 crack 44 czech republic 25 decriminalization 541 denmark 84 drug consumption rooms 83 drug courts 16 drug markets 52 e-joint 2 ecstasy 25 ecuador 19 egypt 6 el salvador 2 eradication 62 essential medicines 15 european drug policy 33 expert advisory group 9 extrajudicial killings 1 fentanyl 15 france 61 gateway theory 25 germany 84 ghana 3 global commission 43 greece 8 guatemala 30 guatemala initiative 46 harm reduction 249 heroin 55 heroin assisted treatment 44 HIV/AIDS 54 honduras 1 human rights 144 incarceration 39 INCB 103 india 30 indonesia 13 informal drug policy dialogues 22 iran 12 israel 21 italy 23 jamaica 89 ketamine 26 khat 33 kratom 16 laos 3 latin american debate 110 law enforcement 140 lebanon 15 legal highs 59 legalization 675 medical cannabis 293 methamphetamine 18 mexico 133 Mid-Term Review 1 mild stimulants 32 money laundering 23 morocco 40 naloxone 1 netherlands 182 new zealand 12 NPS 1 opinion polls 55 opioids 23 opium 44 oregon 22 overdose kits 2 panama 4 paraguay 3 peace 3 peru 34 philippines 18 police pacification 14 portugal 49 prison situation 82 producers 23 prohibition 116 proportionality 102 psychosis 32 reclassification 96 recriminalisation 33 regulation 756 russia 27 safer crack 27 security 8 self-cultivation 31 sentencing 49 singapore 1 south africa 6 spain 56 substance-use disorder 12 substitution treatment 26 sweden 16 switzerland 69 synthetic cannabinoids 20 thailand 15 thresholds 24 tunisia 1 UK 130 UN drug control 338 UNGASS 57 UNODC 81 uruguay 119 US drug policy 745 venezuela 5 vietnam 2 violence 101 WHO 27 world drug report 11