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Harm Reduction
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Harm Reduction in Worcestershire

Harm Reduction is a core and critical theme in the delivery of drug treatment.  In the broadest sense harm reduction approaches and activity are about working to reduce the health, social and economic disadvantage and negative impact to individuals, families and communities caused by problematic use of substances.  More specifically it is about reducing the direct risks associated with drug use to the individual drug user.

 Worcestershire DAAT published a 2 year Harm Reduction Strategy (PDF 147 KB) in June 2009 The Harm Reduction Group, which oversees the work streams identified in the Strategy on behalf of the Partnership, was able to conclude a very favourable review on activity against the Strategy at the end of year one.

There are 5 overarching objectives within the Strategy and progress was identified in each area:

  1. Provide a strategic framework to address and promote harm reduction
  2. Reduce the transmission of blood-borne viruses and other communicable diseases affecting users
  3. Reduce the incidence of accidental overdose and drug related deaths
  4. Develop workforce
  5. Improve service provision to drug users and carers

The focus on improving our service provision will continue, and with the re-orientation of our local services towards a recovery model we specifically want to look at the wider health care needs of our service users.  We want to look at initiatives to empower our service users and their families to intervene if they are concerned by the risk of overdose, and to investigate the use of naloxone. And we are eager to consider how we can use the new resource in our Blood Borne Virus (BBV) Team (PDF 102 KB) to further extend our work with screening, vaccination and treatment, and in particular we want to progress our Hep C Action Plan.

Harm Reduction Workshops for service users are carried out in community venues across the county. Call Pete Hartwell at Worcestershire Pathways to Recovery on 07554 661462 for more details.

National links

Harm Reduction Works: a campaign developed by Exchange Supplies for the National Treatment Agency as part of the implementation of the Department of Health publication Reducing Drug Related Harm: An Action Plan (PDF 188 KB).

The plan commits to reducing the burden of illness and death caused by illicit drug use through improved surveillance of service provision, improved delivery of harm reduction services, and information campaigns aimed at drug users and drug service providers.

See also the NTA's "Good Practice in Harm Reduction".

Further Information

In this section

More Information


See also in our website


External websites

  • Talk to Frank
    Free and confidential information and signposting.
  • Alcoholics Anonymous
    Community programme to encourage abstinence from alcohol.
  • Narcotics Anonymous (NA)
    Recovering addicts who meet regularly to help each other.
  • AdFam 
    Information, training and support for carers, support groups and professionals.  
  • Alcohol Myths Buster
    Test your knowledge of alcohol-related risks and find out the facts about drinking.

We are not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more

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This page was last reviewed 22 July 2013 at 15:10.
The page is next due for review 18 January 2015.