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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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."
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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.
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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 21 2005 CND debate 7 2016 UNGASS 112 afghanistan 12 alternative development 68 argentina 30 show all
Tags10-year Review 20 1998 UNGASS 21 2005 CND debate 7 2016 UNGASS 112 afghanistan 12 alternative development 68 argentina 30 hide
asean 3 ATS 13 australia 41 ayahuasca 3 ballot 2012 155 belgium 12 belize 7 bolivia 110 brazil 68 brownfield doctrine 23 burma 26 california 142 cambodia 7 canada 195 cannabinoids 30 cannabis 1640 cannabis clubs 146 cannabis industry 93 caribbean 44 caricom 13 central america 3 chile 20 china 16 civil society 28 CND 107 coca 171 cocaine 21 coffee shop 166 cognitive decline 22 colombia 96 colorado 138 compulsary detention 16 conventions 193 costa rica 9 crack 44 czech republic 25 decriminalization 570 denmark 86 drug consumption rooms 86 drug courts 17 drug markets 56 drug trade 1 e-joint 2 ecstasy 25 ecuador 21 egypt 7 el salvador 2 eradication 70 essential medicines 16 european drug policy 34 expert advisory group 9 extrajudicial killings 20 fentanyl 18 france 62 gateway theory 26 germany 90 ghana 5 global commission 43 greece 8 guatemala 30 guatemala initiative 46 harm reduction 253 heroin 60 heroin assisted treatment 49 HIV/AIDS 54 honduras 1 human rights 152 incarceration 41 INCB 104 india 30 indonesia 15 informal drug policy dialogues 22 iran 12 ireland 10 israel 25 italy 24 jamaica 98 ketamine 26 khat 33 kratom 16 laos 2 latin american debate 112 law enforcement 154 lebanon 15 legal highs 59 legalization 725 medical cannabis 312 methamphetamine 19 mexico 137 Mid-Term Review 1 mild stimulants 33 money laundering 23 morocco 44 naloxone 1 nepal 1 netherlands 186 new zealand 12 NPS 1 opinion polls 60 opioids 34 opium 47 oregon 23 overdose kits 2 panama 4 paraguay 3 peace 6 peru 35 philippines 25 police pacification 14 portugal 50 prison situation 83 producers 25 prohibition 116 proportionality 105 psychosis 33 puerto rico 1 reclassification 98 recriminalisation 33 regulation 796 russia 27 safer crack 27 security 8 self-cultivation 33 sentencing 50 singapore 1 south africa 15 spain 58 substance-use disorder 12 substitution treatment 26 sweden 17 switzerland 74 synthetic cannabinoids 22 thailand 15 thresholds 24 tunisia 4 UK 135 UN drug control 342 UNGASS 58 UNODC 84 uruguay 122 US drug policy 772 venezuela 5 vietnam 2 violence 101 WHO 27 world drug report 11