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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GSHR2016 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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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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Statement: Drug use and drug dependency itself is not a mental health condition PDF document

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. I know it will be an issue in which a lot of you have strong expertise and experience. Drug use and mental health issues can co-occur, but… Read more

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

This briefing provides advocates with the evidence base and human rights framework for decarceration and the provision of harm reduction services in prisons. We provide evidence that: The first… 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

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

Barriers to Harm Reduction for Women Who Use Drugs PDF document

This report investigates the experiences of women who use drugs with access to harm reduction and health services in Durban, South Africa. In order to compile these experiences, a series of focus… Read more

Harm Reduction for Women in Prisons PDF document

Punitive drug policies disproportionately impact women, and drug use and drug offences are a significant contributor to the incarceration of women around the world. In fact, a higher proportion of… Read more

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