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ID: 1355

Type of submission: Oral

Conference track: Research

Topics: Harm Reduction for Non-Injectors and/or Stimulant Users; Integrated Harm Reduction Services

Presenting author: Cinzia Brentari

Presenting author biography:

No biography entered.

Amphetamine-type stimulants: increasing the harm reduction response

Cinzia Brentari, Katie Stone


It has been estimated that between 13.9 and 54.8 million people use amphetamine-type stimulants (ATS) worldwide. There has been a marked increase in ATS use in the EU, East Asia, South Africa, the U.S., Brazil, Australia, and New Zealand in recent years. In some countries it is now estimated that every second person who injects drugs are now using ATS, primarily methamphetamine.


Using information from civil society and harm reduction networks, international scientific and grey literature, reports from multilateral agencies, international non-governmental organisations, and expert consultation with key academics, HRI has compiled information on harm reduction programmes from around the world which have sought to respond to ATS-related harms, and the novel ways in which harm reduction services can adapt to this growing need.


The majority of academic literature focuses on the extent of ATS use and the related harms, rather than the harm reduction response. There is little documented evidence relating to pharmacological treatment for ATS use. There are however, nascent harm reduction responses targeted towards people who use ATS that have illustrated promising results.


To reduce drug-related harms, including the risk of HIV and viral hepatitis infection among people who use and/or inject ATS there is an urgent necessity to significantly increase harm reduction focused research in this area, to evaluate current programmes and develop guidance on effective interventions.