Executive Director Peninsula Health Concepts San Mateo, California
Session Description: This presentation will be a dynamic update of how harm reduction practice is being integrated into treatment and recovery organizations. Examples of integration into professional development and clinical practice will be highlighted. 2022 was the breakout year for HR to move from the margins to the mainstream of the addiction field. In 2023 the field will witness the on-gong uptake of this important innovation. This workshop will examine this real-time process in detail. For the first time, harm reduction as a policy priority is identified in the White House’s National Drug Strategy. SAMHSA recently awarded $30 million for harm reduction projects and many other SAMHSA grants now require harm reduction activities and referral linkages. In addition, treatment organizations seeking funding must now incorporate outreach and collaborations with community harm reduction organizations as a “required activity”. So far, traditional treatment professionals and programs demonstrate only a limited understanding of harm reduction as a clinical practice. As viewed within the treatment community, HR is seen largely as a mechanism to get people into treatment/recovery. The idea of assisting a drug user without facilitating a path to abstinence is viewed by many as a violation of recovery culture and ethically questionable. This workshop will ground participants in a leading-edge innovation (harm reduction integration) that is currently underway. An overview of HR therapy will be presented. Attendees will also participate in interactive clinical case studies designed to foster examination of beliefs, opinions and personal histories that either facilitate or discourage uptake of harm reduction principles and practices. Participants will depart with skills in the practice of harm reduction therapy, and motivation to return to their worksites ready to initiate personal and organizational change.
After this activity participants should be able to
Demonstrate an understanding of harm reduction history and philosophy specifically as these relate to integrating harm reduction practice into treatment and recovery services.
Discuss steps that treatment and recovery organizations can take to educate staff and clients in harm reduction practice.
Discuss adaptations to the modern treatment paradigm that integrates harm reduction principles.