Dear Friends:

We are quickly approaching the 10th National Harm Reduction Conference. The biennial gathering has managed to conceal its true age with youthful vigor. It has been almost 20 years since the practitioners, researchers and providers of harm reduction first came together. The conference is a respite for reflection and rejuvenation; an oasis of social intercourse and a refreshingly cool dip in the abundant networking pool of resources, information, best practices and science. The National Harm Reduction Conference has been a unique venue for those interested in understanding drug use, drug users and the philosophy and practice of harm reduction since 1996.

This is a community conference. We will develop the conference together; it will encompass the range of desires of the participants. As people who use drugs, or as people working alongside people who use drugs, we have many stories to tell and wisdom to impart as to how we make our future brighter and better. Although change is slow, there are signs that we are experiencing a version of drugs glasnost. The totalitarianism of the war on drugs is melting at the edges. As the thaw continues we need to be at the forefront of setting the new agenda.

We’ve entered a new era in the United States where healthcare reform is availing avenues of access for people who use drugs. It is a time when criminal justice, as a response to drug use, is being openly questioned, a time of changing drug trends as the nation involves itself with prescription drugs. We are seeing a focus on women, especially pregnant women. Latin American countries are openly questioning how much violence and corruption they can absorb to fuel the drug needs of the United States. Popular drug law reform involving marijuana could open up discussion for reform in other areas, or conversely, it could close down those opportunities. The United Nations and the Organization of American States are both gearing up to have significant conversations on drugs. Naloxone is becoming increasingly available and getting into the hands of the people who need it most. We might not have a vaccine but we do have effective HIV prevention and treatment, and new hepatitis drugs are being developed. However, still no funding for syringe exchange? Shame!

The National Harm Reduction Conference is a how-to from those that have the know-how on improving best practices. If you know how, you should be there. If you want to know, you should be there. If you want to huddle with like-minded fellow travelers engaging in a dialogue on what is possible, probable and doable, you should be there. I’ll see you in Baltimore!


Allan Clear

Harm Reduction

Harm reduction is a set of practical strategies that reduces negative consequences of drug use, incorporating a spectrum of strategies from safer use to managed use to abstinence. Harm reduction strategies meet drug users “where they’re at,” addressing conditions of use along with the use itself. Harm Reduction recognizes that communities who are living with HIV/AIDS, hepatitis, poverty, discrimination, and violence are uniquely impacted by drug-related harm and recognizes that it must work side by side with other social justice movements to eradicate the negative impacts of the war on drugs. The National Harm Reduction Conference hosts panel discussions, workshops, roundtables, and open space forums where the following and other topics will be discussed.

Conference Highlights

Harm Reduction Efforts in Communities of Color
LGBTQI, Transgender, Gender Non-Conforming Communities
Sex Workers
Opiate Overdose Prevention
User-to-User Interventions, Education, Organizing, and Advocacy
Methamphetamine and Crack Cocaine Use
New Models of Syringe Access
Latest Research on Drug Use, HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis, Syringe Access, and Harm Reduction
Methadone and Buprenorphine
Improving Drug Treatment Outcomes
Criminal Justice and Prison Issues
Drug User Stigma, Challenging Barriers that Create Harm
Mental Health
Harm Reduction Communication and Messaging
Global Harm Reduction Efforts
Spanish Language Sessions

Location and Travel Information


Renaissance Baltimore Harborplace Hotel
202 East Pratt Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21202
Tel: 410-547-1200

The Renaissance Harborplace hotel is located in downtown Baltimore near many Inner Harbor attractions, restaurants, and shopping.
Discounted Room Rate: $159.00
Cutoff Date: September 30, 2014
Check In: 4:00 pm
Check Out: 12:00 noon
Smoke Free Policy
Pets are not allowed

To reserve sleeping accommodations contact the hotel directly Please, identify yourself as a Harm Reduction Conference attendee to receive the discounted room rate. Rooms are limited, so please book early.


To receive a 5% discount on your American Airlines flight to Baltimore, Maryland please use code A15H4BM in the promotion discount box at aa.com. Ticket purchases can be booked anywhere in the U.S. and Canada with no ticketing fee for reservations made at aa.com.

Use promotion code D256923 for discounts with Avis Car Rental.


Continuing Education Units (CEUs) will be available for social workers and nurses at the conference. CEUs will not be awarded for overall conference attendance. Instead they will be granted at individually certified break out sessions. Additional information will be announced when made available. If you have further please contact our conference coordinator Blyth via email.