Police and Harm Reduction

Sharing the 2018 guidance document I wrote for law enforcement personnel around the world on practical steps they can take to advance public safety, public health, and public confidence, particularly in relation to drug enforcement. As overdose deaths, police violence, and public protests all continue to soar, this guidance has become even more important. There are other options to keep communities healthy and safe.

It is available in English, Russian, Spanish, and Portuguese via the link here.

From the document:

Globally, law enforcement officers have grown increasingly frustrated with the limited effectiveness of traditional drug enforcement approaches that find them arresting or imprisoning individuals without significant impact on illicit drug trade or use. This is a briefing for law enforcement personnel around the world on how to incorporate, support, and create space for approaches that aim to increase public safety and health, reduce harm to people who use drugs, and provide law enforcement alternatives to common punitive models.

This document highlights important recommendations and examples and is based on the experiences of law enforcement officers who have benefited from this “harm reduction” approach. It is important to note that there is no “one size fits all” solution. This is not intended to be a comprehensive handbook. Instead, this briefing is intended to be a quick resource for law enforcement on key options that may be useful to maximize positive impact for communities addressing problems of drug use.

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