Harm reduction is a set of strategies to help reduce health complications stemming from drug consumption. Harm reduction organizations provide resources that educate people who use drugs (and their family and friends) about safe drug use and help them make informed decisions without coercion, judgment, or threat of punitive action. This brief focuses specifically on the value of tools and services for drug checking, such as the distribution of fentanyl test strips and the use of advanced technologies (e.g., portable mass spectrometer). This brief also notes engagement models that a harm reduction organization may use when offering drug checking services. The document is intended for professionals who work in or provide ancillary services to public health and public safety, including harm reduction and justice programs.
This NIJ Forensic Technology Center of Excellence brief was developed in collaboration with the Bureau of Justice Assistance’s Comprehensive Opioids, Stimulants, and Substance Use Program (COSSUP, formerly COSSAP). COSSUP aims to reduce the impact of opioids, stimulants, and other substances through programmatic focus areas that include (but are not limited to) supporting access to treatment and recovery services in the criminal justice system and strengthening the collection and sharing of data across systems.
Funding for this Forensic Technology Center of Excellence report was provided by the National Institute of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice and the Bureau of Justice Assistance’s Comprehensive Opioids, Stimulants, and Substance Use Program.
The opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this report are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of the U.S. Department of Justice.