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Harm Reduction Legal Project

Reducing Harm Caused by Drugs – and Drug Policy

February 2, 2020


Addressing legal and policy barriers to evidence-based interventions that center the health and dignity of people who use drugs.

Meaningful collaborations can have a profound effect on the success of programs, and the Harm Reduction Legal Project is a prime example. Supported by Arnold Ventures, the Project addresses legal and policy barriers at the ground level so that programs working directly with impacted people can do what they do best – provide high quality services to the people who need them most.

An Unrelenting Epidemic

Communities across the United States are struggling with an epidemic of drug-related harms, including overdose deaths. While governmental and non-governmental organizations have made strides in reducing these harms, they are often hindered by laws and policies that reflect an outdated, punitive-focused approach to drugs and individuals who use them.

Law and Policy Changes that Could Prove Life-Saving

Interventions like syringe exchange programs, increased access to the overdose reversal drug naloxone and evidence-based treatment work. Yet, in far too many communities, outdated laws and policies prevent effective implementation of these life-saving interventions. It’s time for change.

The Harm Reduction Legal Project: Providing Strategic Guidance to Individuals and Communities

With a grant from Arnold Ventures, the Network for Public Health Law launched the Harm Reduction Legal Project in September 2019. The Project works with community members, governmental organizations and non-government agencies to protect and expand evidence-based harm reduction programs and practices and to reduce the stigma associated with substance use disorder. The Project’s law and policy experts provide direct consultation and strategic guidance to individuals and organizations on harm reduction best practices and how to create, expand and defend programs that we know work. Additionally, the Project will conduct a training workshop at the 2020 Public Health Law Conference, September 16 – 18 in Baltimore, MD.

Evidence-based Interventions Save Lives: We Can Help

Learn more about the Harm Reduction Legal Project and related workshop.

For questions about the Project, contact Corey Davis, Project Director, at

We are growing this important work. To learn how you can partner with us, contact Ann Phi-Wendt, Managing Director at