The Role of Prevention in Harm Reduction Efforts


The Role of Prevention in Harm Reduction Efforts

What is it?

What is it?

Harm reduction is a set of practical strategies and ideas aimed at reducing negative consequences associated with drug use. The focus of harm reduction strategies is people actively using substances. Consequently, it can be challenging for substance misuse prevention professionals to identify if/how their work overlaps with harm reduction work. The resources below will help you learn more about what harm reduction is and prevention's role in harm reduction. 


Video: What is Harm Reduction? (National Institute on Drug Abuse)
Harm reduction is defined as interventions aimed to help people avoid negative effects of drug use, but many understand harm reduction as a way to meet people where they are with kindness and respect. In this video, we hear from people who use drugs, people who are in recovery, and harm reduction professionals on what harm reduction is (and isn’t) in their own words.

Video: Harm Reduction 101 (Harm Reduction Action Center)
What is harm reduction? Harm reduction is a public health philosophy and intervention that seeks to reduce the harms associated with drug use and ineffective drug policies.

Webinar: Understanding Prevention’s Role in Harm Reduction
View this recorded webinar from the Great Lakes PTTC to learn about steps prevention practitioners can take to support harm reduction efforts.


Learn about it

Learn about it.


Brief: Understanding the Role of Prevention in Harm Reduction Efforts
This brief created by the Great Lakes PTTC provides an overview of harm reduction and the specific actions preventionists can take to augment harm reduction efforts in their local communities.


Take action

Take action.

Tool: Action Steps for Prevention Practitioners to Enhance Harm Reduction Efforts
This succinct “job aid” created by the Great Lakes PTTC provides a checklist of actions that prevention practitioners can take to enhance harm reduction efforts.

Slide Deck: Substance Misuse Prevention’s Role in Harm Reduction – PowerPoint Slide Deck 
This PowerPoint slide deck created by the Great Lakes PTTC can be used by prevention practitioners to educate their stakeholders, coalition members, and others on prevention’s role in enhancing harm reduction efforts. Facilitation tips are included in the notes section of each slide.

Tool: Using the Socio-Ecological Model To Develop Complementary Substance Misuse Prevention and Harm Reduction Efforts
This planning tool created by the Great Lakes PTTC assists substance misuse prevention practitioners and harm reductionists in creating a complementary approach to prevention and harm reduction to reach people with different levels and types of risk in multiple social contexts.




Resources on Harm Reduction in the Great Lakes Region


- Illinois Harm Reduction and Recovery Coalition
- IDHS/SUPR Drug Overdose Prevention Program
- A Dose of Truth
- Rethink Recovery
- The Prescription Playbook


- Recovery Alliance
- Never Alone Project
- Overdose Lifeline
- Indiana Department of Health


- Harm Reduction Michigan
- Michigan Opioid Partnership
- Michigan Syringe Service Programs


- Minnesota Opioids Harm Reduction


- Harm Reduction Ohio
- Ohio Overdose Prevention Network
- Ohio Organizing Collaborative


- Dose of Reality: Opioids in Wisconsin
- Dose of Reality: Safer Use


- Naloxone Finder