Everyone engages in behaviors that can harm their health, and many of us take measures to decrease these health risks. If you wear your seatbelt while driving or limit your alcohol consumption, you are engaging in harm reduction. Harm reduction is the idea that abstinence-only approaches do not work well at the population level and that there are strategies available to make risky behaviors less harmful.

Experts from several areas of harm reduction discussed the benefits and challenges associated with harm reduction approaches, policies that can advance harm reduction, their personal experiences with harm reduction services and the importance of providing a range of harm reduction services to the public. Panelists spoke to the importance of harm reduction for illegal drug use, sexual health, tobacco use and more.


  • Damon Jacobs, Associate Fellow, R Street Institute
  • Lisa Raville, Executive Director, Harm Reduction Action Center
  • Pritika Kumar, Senior Fellow, R Street Institute
  • Brendan Cox, Chief (Ret.), Albany Police Department