Harm Reduction 101: Saving Lives with Opioid Harm Reduction
When: May 11, 2022, 3:00 – 6:00 PM ET
Where: National Housing Center, 1201 15th St NW, Washington, D.C. 20005
- [Opening Remarks] Governor Doug Ducey (R-Ariz.)
- [Moderator] Mazen Saleh, Integrated Harm Reduction Policy Director, R Street Institute
- Jillian Snider, Criminal Justice and Civil Liberties Policy Director, R Street Institute
- Sheriff James Manfre (Ret.), Law Enforcement Action Partnership
- Johnny Bailey, Community Outreach Coordinator, Honoring Individual Power and Strength, (HIPS)
More than 100,000 people died of a drug overdose in the United States last year, and the vast majority of these cases involved at least one opioid. While any use of illicit drugs comes with some health risks due to unregulated markets, the proliferation of ultra-potent synthetic opioids such as fentanyl and its analogues has dramatically increased the danger in recent years. Harm reduction is an evidence-based, but sometimes controversial, tool that helps people mitigate the risks associated with a wide range of behaviors. The approach hinges on 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.
Most of us engage in some sort of harm reduction on a regular basis: Wearing a seatbelt when driving, donning a helmet when cycling or opting to vape instead of smoking cigarettes are all familiar examples. This panel will address how harm reduction reduces opioid overdoses and associated deaths and what these policies and programs—including syringe services and expanded access to overdose reversal and opioid use disorder medications—mean for both public health and safety.
Refreshments will be served during the reception.
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