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Harm Reduction

Harm Reduction

Harm reduction is a range of evidence-based approaches that recognize that people unable or unwilling to abstain from illicit drug use can still make positive choices to protect their own health in addition to the health of their families and communities. The Open Society Foundations advocate for policies and practices that advance the health and human rights of people who use drugs.

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The following Open Society programs focus on this topic.

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Recent Work

The Real Causes of (and Solutions to) Drug Use and Addiction

Johann Hari, best-selling author of Chasing the Scream, speaks with Human Rights Watch’s Jasmine Tyler about the causes of drug use and drug dependency, and what they can tell us about solutions to the drug overdose crisis.

Women in Prison: The Devastating Impact of Rising Incarceration in the Americas    

A panel of experts explores innovative strategies being launched to counter rising incarceration rates among women in the Americas.

The Overwhelming Evidence in Favor of Harm Reduction

Harm reduction services are cost-effective, supportive of healthier communities, and safer. It's time for governments worldwide to follow the facts, not antidrug prejudice.

Expecting Better: Improving Health and Rights for Pregnant Women Who Use Drugs

This publication serves as a guide for those wishing to implement gender-responsive approaches and policies tailored for pregnant women who use drugs.

Sri Lanka Should Think Twice Before Copying Duterte’s Vicious Drug War

While the world moves on, Sri Lanka continues to drift toward the brutal and criminal “war on drugs” policies championed by the Philippines’ strongman. These heinous policies must be abandoned—before it’s too late.

Police & Harm Reduction

This report showcases alternatives to common punitive policing models and presents recommendations on how to incorporate harm reduction approaches that aim to increase public safety, public health, and public confidence.