Public Health and Social Policy

The Public Health and Social Policy team conducts original research and analysis to track developments in harm reduction and ensure people who use drugs have the health and social services they need.

Our independent analysis focuses on the uptake of harm reduction approaches worldwide, both in terms of policy and service delivery, to support advocacy in the scale-up of harm reduction. Further, we track innovative reduction programmes for particular populations of people who use drugs, including women and people in prison.

Our continual monitoring of trends in harm reduction helps to inform the evidence-base in this area, and serves as a resource for people working in the fields of public health, human rights and drug use.

See below for examples of our work

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Chemsex and Harm ReductionChemsex and Harm Reduction for Gay Men and Other Men Who Have Sex With Men

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Innovation and resilience in times of crisis (Part 2)Briefing: Innovation and resilience in times of crisis (Part 2): The response to COVID-19 from harm reduction service

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Briefing: The Harms of Incarceration: The evidence base and human rights framework for decarceration and harm reduction in prisonsThe Harms of Incarceration: The evidence base and human rights framework for decarceration and harm reduction in prisons

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GSHR2020 CoverThe Global State of Harm Reduction

Our flagship biennial publication, The Global State of Harm Reduction, tracks the provision of health and social services worldwide for people who use drugs. 

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Statement: Drug use and drug dependency itself is not a mental health condition

Our new statement from INPUD and HRI raising concerns about the conflation of drug use and mental health. We wrote this in response to ongoing global discussions, including among key international donors.

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Barriers to Harm Reduction for Women Who Use Drugs Barriers to Harm Reduction for Women Who Use Drugs

This report investigates the experiences of women who use drugs with access to harm reduction and health services in Durban, South Africa.

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Harm Reduction for Women in Prisons Harm Reduction for Women in Prisons

Punitive drug policies disproportionately impact women, and drug use and drug offences are a significant contributor to the incarceration of women around the world.

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A global review of the harm reduction response to amphetamines: A 2015A Global Review of the Harm Reduction Response to Amphetamines

Our 2015 overview looks at the availability of harm reduction services for people who use stimulants, such as methamphetamine, cathinone and methcathinone. 

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Community-based drug treatment models for people who use drugsCommunity-based drug treatment models for people who use drugs

The detention of people who use drugs within compulsory centres for ‘treatment’ and ‘rehabilitation’ remains a predominant government response to drug use in many Asian countries. This report explores alternatives to compulsory detention implemented in six Asian countries. 

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Step by Step ToolkitStep-by-step: Preparing for work with children and young people who inject drugs

Globally, the protection and care of children and young people who inject drugs receives little attention. It is a controversial and often misunderstood issue and one that is severely underfunded. This toolkit - developed with out partners - is intended as a resource for harm reduction service providers with limited experience of working with children and young people who inject drugs. 

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Sex work reportWhen sex work and drug use overlap: Considerations for advocacy and practice

This report examines the varied contexts within which sex work and drug use overlap. Drawing on experiences from the harm reduction and sex work communities, the report highlights existing programmes from around the world that reach people who use drugs and sell sex. 

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Chemsex and Harm Reduction for Gay Men and Other Men Who Have Sex With Men PDF document

Using substances for sex and socialising is not a new phenomenon. Drug use was documented among gay men and other men who have sex with men long before the term “chemsex” was coined.[1] Chemsex, which has come to the attention of public health professionals in the past decade, involves both sexual and drug-related high risk behaviours… Read more

Harm Reduction Financing in Kenya PDF document

HARM REDUCTION FINANCING IN KENYA  Advocacy for Local Resource Allocation March 2021 Kenya is transitioning from a low-income country to a low middle-income country (LMIC); which has meant that donor support towards healthcare and HIV programming is decreasing at an alarming rate. The transition has already seen dwindling resources… Read more

Briefing: Innovation and resilience in times of crisis (Part 2): The response to COVID-19 from harm reduction service PDF document

The COVID-19 pandemic and its related restrictions have brought many changes to the lives of people around the globe. Most notably, the pandemic’s impact has magnified existing inequalities, stigma and repression faced by certain marginalised communities such as people who use drugs. However, the response to COVID-19 has also catalysed… Read more

Rapid Assessment of Harm Reduction Funding and Investment in Uganda (Luganda) PDF document

Rapid Assessment of Harm Reduction Funding and Investment in Uganda Alipoota ekwata ku kunoonyereza ku buyambi/ ensimbi eziteekebwa mu pulogulamu ya “harm reduction” mu Uganda Alipoota eno eturaga ebyava mu kunoonyereza ku nsako eteekebwa mu pulogulamu z`abantu abakozesa ebiragalalagala. Okunonyereza kuno kwakolebwa ekitongole ekiitibwa… Read more

Rapid Assessment of Harm Reduction Funding and Investment in Uganda PDF document

This report presents the results of a rapid assessment on harm reduction funding and investment in Uganda. This assessment was conducted by the Uganda Harm Reduction Network (UHRN) with support from Harm Reduction International (HRI). The purpose of this assessment was to establish the harm reduction funding and investment in Uganda for the… Read more

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