Community Pharmacists and Harm Reduction: Evidence and Opportunities

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Harm reduction is a concept that has gained momentum as it relates to prevention of negative consequences of drug use. Some harm reduction approaches, such as naloxone provision, have garnered significant support, whereas others, such as providing access to clean syringes, are the exception as opposed the rule. Evidence suggests there is significant variation in harm reduction behaviors among providers, including community pharmacists. Community pharmacies are one of the most accessible points for healthcare; approximately 90% of U.S. residents live within five miles of a pharmacy. Therefore, pharmacies have a great opportunity to promote and engage their communities in harm reduction approaches.

This session will examine evidence-based harm reduction approaches that can be employed in community pharmacies. The presenters will use their syringe dispensing research conducted across three states to describe the current harm reduction climate in community pharmacies. During this interactive session, participants will discuss scenarios in which they are encouraged to evaluate their own attitudes and beliefs toward non-Rx syringe sales, naloxone dispensing and other harm reduction strategies while taking a look at the impact of state level policies on these approaches. The session will be targeted to practicing pharmacists, coalition leaders and harm reduction stakeholders.


Atlanta, GA