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Global State of Harm Reduction 2022

Harm Reduction International released the 8th edition of the Global State of Harm Reduction report.

The Global State of Harm Reduction is the only report that provides an independent analysis of harm reduction in the world. Now in its 8th edition, the Global State of Harm Reduction 2022 is the most comprehensive global mapping of harm reduction responses to drug use, HIV and viral hepatitis.

Harm reduction is stronger in 2022

The period from 2020 to 2022 has seen increased uptake of harm reduction interventions. For the first time since 2014, the Global State of Harm Reduction has found an increase in the number of countries implementing key harm reduction services.

This growth has been driven by new needle and syringe programmes (NSPs) opening in five African countries as well as four new countries having officially sanctioned drug consumption rooms (DCRs). This includes a site in Mexico that had been operating without formal approval since 2018 but now has approval from local authorities. Three countries have introduced opioid agonist therapy (OAT) for the first time.

No country has stopped the implementation of NSP, OAT or DCRs since 2020.

The number of countries providing naloxone on a take-home basis and through peer-distribution models has also increased. Changes in definitions and research strategies make year-on-year comparisons difficult, but the Global State of Harm Reduction 2022 finds there are 35 countries where take-home naloxone is available, and 21 countries operating peer-distribution naloxone programmes. However, these programmes are often on a very small scale and highly vulnerable to regulatory or funding changes, especially those in low- and middle-income countries such as Iran, Kenya and South Africa.

The overall increase in the commitment to and implementation of harm reduction is a testament to the dedication, resilience and strength of community, civil society and international organisations, which have successfully advocated for a health and human-rights based approach to drug use despite extremely limited resources.

The full report with the accompanying documents can be accessed here.