Text AA

Improving Health Care with Drug Users

Tools for Non-Clinical Providers
Training Goal

This participatory training is designed to help non-clinical service providers engage with their drug using clients around issues related to health care. It will explore the context in which drug users seek health care from a systemic and individual level, as well as some of the unique challenges drug users face in accessing quality health care. The training will provide tools and strategies to offer clients when navigating the health care system, highlighting ways to strengthen and build positive relationships between drug users and health care providers.

Among the tools offered is a 90-minute workshop curriculum called Quality Health Care is Your Right: A Workshop for Drug Users to Getting Better Health Care that can be used with clients as a means of supporting positive relationships between drug users and health care providers. The Curriculum includes a companion booklet that details tips for clients to make navigating health care easier.

Contact us for more information about this training or would like Harm Reduction Coalition to provide this training at your organization.

Training Objectives

Upon completion of this training, participants will:

  • Identify some of the unique health care needs of drug using clients through interactive discussion.
  • Identify institutional, social and behavioral factors that influence drug user access to health care through interactive discussion.
  • Understand the impact of drug-related stigma on their clients’ access to health care through group activity and discussion.
  • Develop strategies for engaging clients in discussions about the benefits and risks of disclosing their drug use to health care providers through group activity.
  • Develop tools to use with clients to help build trust and strengthen relationships with health care providers developed through collective brainstorm, group activity and discussion.
  • Build skills to facilitate a one and one-half hours workshop with drug using clients aimed at improving health care relationships.
Training Length

Half-day (3 hours)


There is no pre-requisite for this training, though familiarity with the principles of harm reduction may be useful.


This training is relevant for community-based direct service staff, caseworkers, therapists, peer advocates, program administrators, medical providers, and all who are interested with helping drug users most at risk to access and maintain contact with the health care system.

Curriculum Materials (Workshop for Providers)

Trainer’s Guide (pdf)

Participant Workbook (pdf)

PowerPoint Slides (pdf)

Quality Health Care is Your Right Curriculum Materials (Workshop for Drug Users)

Facilitator’s Guide (pdf)
Facilitator’s Guide word doc (for tailoring to your needs)

Companion Booklet – Quality Health Care is Your Right! (pdf)

This curriculum was developed with support from the New York State Department of Health AIDS Institute, the M·A·C AIDS Fund, and the Irene Diamond Fund.

Designed & Developed by Firefly Partners