The 2018 National Harm Reduction Conference comes at a time when harm reduction, health care, and drug policy reform have entered a dynamic and critical phase. The prescription opioid and heroin overdose epidemic has captured national attention, with renewed focus on transmission of HIV and viral hepatitis among people who use drugs. These trends are reshaping the policy and public health landscapes, making harm reduction more urgent and relevant than ever before.

The biennial conference is the only conference of its kind in the United States. For four days some of the most creative minds from the US and abroad come together to address a myriad of complex issues facing the harm reduction movement. A diverse community of people who use drugs, social justice activists, service providers, healthcare workers, researchers, policymakers, public health officials, and law enforcement— all coming together to put an end to the harms and injustices caused by the War on Drugs.

Conference objectives include:

  • Providing safe spaces for the exchange of ideas and cutting-edge practices that reduce harms associated with drug use
  • Creating networking opportunities for people from diverse backgrounds committed to dismantling the racialized policies that underwrite and perpetuate oppression
  • Challenging stigmatizing narratives about people who use drugs by supporting their leadership development and exposing social inequities driven by structural violence and discrimination

In addition to workshops, roundtable discussions, plenaries, poster presentations, an and exhibit hall, other conference highlights include:

  • The Imani P. Woods Award for Excellence in Harm Reduction Activism
  • Wellness Space (yoga, meditation, affinity group meetings, and more)
  • Art Show & Spoken Word Night
  • Film Festival
  • Fashion Show
  • Harm Reduction Trivia Night
  • Dance Party
  • West vs. East Soccer Game
  • Onsite Childcare