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Introduction to ‘The public health dimension of drug use and harm reduction’

In this video, Ernst Wisse and Judy Chang introduce the 2nd topic of the MOOC on Harm Reduction and drug use, focussing on the public health dimension
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Hi there. It’s us again. We hope that you have enjoyed the first sequence and that you’ve started to get a feeling on how to describe harm reduction by now. Most of the following sessions will be very similar in structure to the previous one. This sequence will talk about the public health dimension of the harm reduction response. Harm reduction is deeply rooted in a public health response and probably you know, this best from the HIV response, but it goes much further than that. So drug use is and has been part of practically every society we know about. This ranges from caffeine and alcohol to presently illicit substances.
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Drugs themselves, however, are not the only nor even the most important factor that leads to health and public health harms. Later, you will hear more about the concept of drugs set and setting, which argues that the mindset of the person and the environment in which the drug use takes place affects the outcome of drug use. The session will cover a general overview and the scale of drug use and the related global public health issues. Some of you might already be quite familiar with some of the documentation and guides that we have added to this session.
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The next video, I will try to walk you through some practical reflections on how harm reduction coulb be introduced into a setting and then the process towards full endorsement and uptake in health policies. So the last session features a peer perspective, this time from the United States on what it’s like to work and live in the ongoing overdose crisis in America. The speaker talks from personal experience as a woman who uses drugs, who’s working to protect her community in the midst of public apathy. We hope this session will expand your view on the public health dimension of harm reduction. Enjoy the course !

Welcome to the second half of this week, covering the activity: “The public health dimension of drug use and harm reduction”. Judy and Ernst give you the outlines of how this topic will be covered in the next steps.

As you have seen in the first half of this week, covering “What is harm reduction?”, Harm Reduction has gained global recognition for its unquestionable public health impact. Much of the evidence base comes from HIV, but as you will see in this activity, it has many more public health dimensions.

You are currently at the second topic of week 1

WEEK 1
1. What is Harm Reduction?
[»] The public health dimension of drug use and harm reduction
WEEK 2
3. The human rights dimension of drug use and harm reduction
4. The community at the heart of the response
WEEK 3
5. Advocating for Harm Reduction
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Drug Use and Harm Reduction

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