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Harm Reduction

About the course

“Harm reduction refers to policies, programmes and practices that aim to minimise negative health, social and legal impacts associated with drug use, drug policies and drug laws.

Harm reduction is grounded in justice and human rights. It focuses on positive change and on working with people without judgement, coercion, discrimination, or requiring that they stop using drugs as a precondition of support.

Harm reduction encompasses a range of health and social services and practices that apply to illicit and licit drugs.”

This five half-day session course

  • further explores the concept of Harm Reduction as both a “philosophy” and a public health approach and its focus on harm rather than prevalence, and
  • examines a range of approaches and interventions that can work to reduce the health, social and economic harms associated with the use of alcohol and other drugs and with a focus on
  • needle and syringe programmes (NSP) and people who inject drugs (PWID)
  • drug related deaths
  • blood borne viruses (BBVs), particularly Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and HIV, and
  • sexually transmitted infections (STIs)


Learning outcomes

By the end of the course, participants will be able to:

  • Explain what is meant by the term “Harm Reduction”
  • Describe and appraise a range of activities and interventions that work to reduce harms associated with the use of drugs and associated behaviours
  • Identify effective strategies to reduce BBVs, STIs and drug related deaths
  • Critique the role and importance of comprehensive needle and syringe programmes and provision in protecting the health of people who inject drugs
  • Discuss how to engage people using a harm reduction based approach


Who is the course for?

​This course is aimed at anyone working or volunteering in substance misuse, mental health, health or social care who wish to gain an understanding of the harm reduction philosophy and approach.


Duration: Five half-day session


Venue: Online via Microsoft Teams


Please note that all course dates, times and locations will be confirmed closer to the start date.

For further information about courses, please contact:

Telephone: 0161 358 1365 


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