The College of Psychiatric & Neurologic Pharmacists (CPNP) and members of its Substance Use Disorders Committee are pleased to announce the release of a resource document on harm reduction strategies s. Harm Reduction Strategies for People Who Inject Drugs: Considerations for Pharmacists is authored by Chris Stock, PharmD, BCPP, Michelle Geier, PharmD, BCPP, and Kathie Nowicki, PharmD, and is intended to highlight what harm reduction is, services, and barriers. The document provides information on the scope and impact of injection drug use and the evidence on harm reduction strategies that can be employed. Major categories of information include:

  • Consequences of injection drug use
  • Harm reduction services, activities, and policies
  • Stigma
  • Potential barriers
  • Professional and policy support
  • Resources, references, and data sources

Lead author Chris Stock, PharmD, BCPP, noted that this Harm Reduction Strategies for People Who Inject Drugs: Considerations for Pharmacists resource is “intended to fill a gap in information available to pharmacists. Millions of people in the U.S. inject illicit drugs. They live in every community, big and small. Although there are the significant risks of overdose, infections and other health consequences, these individuals often avoid traditional medical services due to the stigma they face and may be marginalized in their own community. Pharmacists are in an ideal position to break down individual and community barriers faced by people who inject drugs but may lack the confidence or resources to provide access to important harm reduction services. This toolkit is designed to educate pharmacists and provide resources that they can use to help improve the lives of people who continue to use drugs.”

CPNP President Megan Ehret, PharmD, MS, BCPP, Associate Professor at the University of Maryland, points out how important resources such as this are as our nation deals with the challenging and pervasive issue of drug misuse. She notes, “Using this CPNP resource document, pharmacists can gain greater exposure to strategies they can impact to make a difference in their own communities.”

This resource will be a living document that is updated and maintained on the CPNP website as a freely available source of information.