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High levels of used syringe use and unsafe sex among people who inject drugs in Kumasi, Ghana: an urgent call for a comprehensive harm reduction approach. 

Messersmith, L.J., Adjei, R., Beard, J. et al. 

Harm Reduct J 18, 62 (2021). doi.org/10.1186/s12954-021-00510-7


Public support for harm reduction: A population survey of Canadian adults. 

Wild TC, Koziel J, Anderson-Baron J, Asbridge M, Belle-Isle L, Dell C, et al. (2021) 

PLoS ONE 16(5): e0251860. doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0251860


The best of harm reduction 

Rob Calder writes about this important, and sometimes hotly debated, issue. (SSA – Society fort he Study of Addiction, UK, 07.05.2021)


Europa. Summary National Harm Reduction Survey

We approached C-EHRN members in Q4 of 2020 to provide us with contact information of national harm reduction groups or networks in 34 European countries. 50% of approached countries have such a network (17), whilst 50% does not. This investigation aims to learn more about the structure, the objectives, activities, and funding resources. Last but not least, we intend to investigate ways for how to improve our collaboration with these national counterparts for mutual exchange and advocacy. (CCorrelation – European Harm ReductionNetwork, Niederlande, April 2021)


Kanada. Virtual 'spotting' could help keep drug users safe during COVID-19, U of T researchers say

A group of researchers at the University of Toronto and the Canadian Association of People Who Use Drugs are studying a remote supervised-consumption model known as “spotting” to understand its benefits among people who use drugs during the pandemic.

The research team coined the term because the model involves a “spottee” consuming drugs in a safe location such as their home while a friend, family member or an acquaintance – the spotter –monitors them virtually. (University of Toronto, Kanada, 26.04.2021)


Ethical and legal issues in psychedelic harm reduction and integration therapy. 

Pilecki, B., Luoma, J.B., Bathje, G.J. et al. 

Harm Reduct J 18, 40 (2021). doi.org/10.1186/s12954-021-00489-1


Kanada. Students' innovative idea could help prevent fentanyl overdoses

A group of University of Alberta science students won $100,000 to help turn a brainstorming session about what could have helped family members avoid a fentanyl overdose into a street-ready solution that will ultimately be a lifeline for those who struggle with addiction. (University of Alberta, Kanada, 19.04.2021)


USA. Harm Reduction at Sea: Tight-Knit Fishing Communities Navigate Drugs

The setting sun shines a crown of pink light through the windows of a loud bar on the Massachusetts coast, packed with fishermen. It’s 3:30 pm—the end of a long day that began well before dawn. The weight of wear and tear on exhausted muscles and minds is as palpable as the bursts of deep belly laughter and the smell of sweat. Johnnie*, a salt-and-pepper fisherman in his late 50s, is smiling as he tells me what happened one dark night last year.

“It was like a movie star, dropping down from the sky off the helicopter to get to my crewmate, pitch of night,” he says. “The Coast Guard—this handsome guy, my wife would’ve loved him, like Rock Hudson—dropped down from the moon. Felt like hours after we had given him all the Narcan we had. The Coast Guard still didn’t carry it back then, did you know that? So they pulled him up into the clouds and we all were left below at sea.”

“It’s not the first time that’s happened on our boat,” Johnnie says. “If we didn’t have that Narcan on board though, kid probably wouldn’t have made it.” (Filter Mag, USA. 08.04.2021)


Shifting the paradigm: physician-authorized, student-led efforts to provide harm reduction services amidst legislative opposition. 

McMullen TP, Naeim M, Newark C, Oliphant H, Suchard J, Banimahd F. 

Subst Abuse Treat Prev Policy. 2021 Mar 24;16(1):27. doi: 10.1186/s13011-021-00362-1. PMID: 33761954; PMCID: PMC7992799.


Harm Reduction, By Mail: the Next Step in Promoting the Health of People Who Use Drugs. 

Hayes BT, Favaro J, Davis CS, Gonsalves GS, Beletsky L, Vlahov D, Heimer R, Fox AD. 

J Urban Health. 2021 Mar 12:1–6. doi: 10.1007/s11524-021-00534-1. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33710493; PMCID: PMC7953942.


Read “The Young Injectables,” a Harm Reduction Comic Book

(Filter, USA, 23.03.2021)


Civil Society Monitoring of Harm Reduction in Europe, 2020. Executive Summary.

Rigoni, R, Tammi, T, van der Gouwe, D, Oberzil, V,; Csak R, Schatz, E. (2021) 

Amsterdam, Correlation – European Harm Reduction Network.


A study protocol for a quasi-experimental community trial evaluating the integration of indigenous healing practices and a harm reduction approach with principles of seeking safety in an indigenous residential treatment program in Northern Ontario. 

Marsh, T.N., Eshakakogan, C., Eibl, J.K. et al. 

Harm Reduct J 18, 35 (2021). doi.org/10.1186/s12954-021-00483-7


Does the preparation for intravenous administration affect the composition of heroin injections? A controlled laboratory study. 

Andersen, J. M., Bogen, I. L., Karinen, R., Brochmann, G. W., Mørland, J., Vindenes, V., and Boix, F. (2021) 

Addiction, doi.org/10.1111/add.15492. 



UK. Essex Police use drug dealers' phone contacts used to help addicts

A police force is using data found on drug dealers' phones to identify and support potential addicts.

Essex Police said SMS text messages would be sent to numbers found on devices owned by known county lines drug dealers.

The messages will offer those trying to overcome substance abuse a way to seek help from a charity.

Det Ch Insp Lewis Basford said the force hoped to reach "thousands" of people through the scheme. (BBC, UK, 16.03.2021)


Kanada. Doctor on London's frontlines weighs in on opioid dispensing machine 

The doctor leading London's safer drug supply program says a new machine that dispenses hydromorphone tablets to those with prescriptions for the opioid could help people manage and better access their supply. (London Free Prees, Kanada, 09.03.2021)


Slowenien. Ljubljana authorities destroy community hub housing harm reduction initiative

First came the Police, then the bulldozers. The ruins of the Autonomous Factory ROG speak volumes of the progressively increasing ease with which Slovenian authorities are deploying violence to curtail rights and freedoms.

Amidst the ruins lies the office space of društvo AREAL, the only community-led harm reduction initiative in Slovenia. (IDPC, UK, 25.01.2021)


Hoots and harm reduction: a qualitative study identifying gaps in overdose prevention among women who smoke drugs. 

Bardwell, G., Austin, T., Maher, L. et al. 

Harm Reduct J 18, 29 (2021). doi.org/10.1186/s12954-021-00479-3


Kanada. $3.5M in funding for 'vending machines' that dispense safer drugs to prevent ODs

Darren Fisher, parliamentary secretary to Health Minister Patty Hajdu, said two machines are located in Vancouver and one each are in Victoria; London, Ont.; and Dartmouth, N.S. (Halifax Today, Kanada, 02.03.2021)


Harm reduction program and hepatitis C prevalence in people who inject drugs (PWID) in Iran: an updated systematic review and cumulative meta-analysis. 

Rajabi, A., Sharafi, H. & Alavian, S.M. 

Harm Reduct J 1812 (2021). doi.org/10.1186/s12954-020-00441-9


Lessons learned from the Amsterdam Cohort Studies among people who use drugs: a historical perspective. 

van Santen, D.K., Coutinho, R.A., van den Hoek, A. et al. Harm Reduct J 18, 2 (2021). doi.org/10.1186/s12954-020-00444-6


Cooking heroin the Turkish way: chemical investigation on an unusual heroin preparation method.

Dahm, G., Allar, C., Schaaf, R. et al. 

Harm Reduct J 18, 8 (2021). doi.org/10.1186/s12954-020-00457-1


Having a voice and saving lives: a qualitative survey on employment impacts of people with lived experience of drug use working in harm reduction. 

People with Lived Expertise of Drug Use National Working Group., Abele, B., Bowser, J. et al. 

Harm Reduct J 18, 1 (2021). doi.org/10.1186/s12954-020-00453-5


Harm reduction in Europe: a framework for civil society-led monitoring. 

Rigoni, R., Tammi, T., van der Gouwe, D. et al.

Harm Reduct J 18, 3 (2021). doi.org/10.1186/s12954-020-00451-7


Drug Use in Street Sex worKers (DUSSK) study: results of a mixed methods feasibility study of a complex intervention to reduce illicit drug use in drug dependent female sex workers. 

Patel R, Redmond NM, Kesten JM, Linton MJ, Horwood J, Wilcox D, Munafo J, Coast J, Macleod J, Jeal N. 

BMJ Open. 2020 Dec 15;10(12):e036491. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2019-036491. PMID: 33323428; PMCID: PMC7745311.


USA. Partnership Research: Evidence Based Strategies for Abatement of Harms from the Opioid Epidemic

Jointly authored by leading experts in addiction, this report contains recommendations and evidence-based strategies for investment of litigation settlement funds to end the opioid crisis and mitigate future harms. (drugfree.org, November 2020)


Harm reduction via online platforms for people who use drugs in Russia: a qualitative analysis of web outreach work. 

Davitadze, A., Meylakhs, P., Lakhov, A. et al. 

Harm Reduct J 17, 98 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12954-020-00452-6


USA. Leaked FBI Report: Drug Sellers Practice Harm Reduction

The recognition that people who sell drugs can play a crucial role in reducing the harms caused by drug criminalization is not limited to reformers, syringe service workers and researchers. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is also aware—although the evidence of this comes from a leaked intelligence report, rather than any public FBI acknowledgment. (Filter, USA, 02.12.2020)


Burning Issues: The Global State of Tobacco Harm Reduction 2020

 It’s the second in our GSTHR series which documents the development of tobacco harm reduction and use, availability and regulatory responses to safer nicotine products around the world, and comes two years after No Fire, No Smoke, our first GSTHR report (2018). (GSTHR, UK, November 2020)


A qualitative study of diphenhydramine injection in Kyrgyz prisons and implications for harm reduction. 

Meyer, J.P., Culbert, G.J., Azbel, L. et al. 

Harm Reduct J 17, 86 (2020). doi.org/10.1186/s12954-020-00435-7