Harm Reduction

Harm reduction is any behavior or strategy that helps reduce risk or harm to yourself or others. For example, to reduce the risk of contracting or transmitting HIV, you can practice safer sex or safer drug use. (Center for Disease Control) 


Great Lakes Prevention Technology Transfer Center Network

Tools and Resources on Understanding Prevention’s Role in Harm Reduction

Check out these resources and tools available on understanding prevention’s role in harm reduction:

Brief: Understanding the Role of Prevention in Harm Reduction Efforts

This brief provides an overview of harm reduction and the specific actions preventionists can take to augment harm reductionefforts in their local communities.

Tool: Action Steps for Prevention Practitioners to Enhance Harm Reduction Efforts

This succinct “job aid” provides a checklist of actions that prevention practitioners can take to enhance harm reduction efforts.

PowerPoint Slide Deck: Substance Misuse Prevention’s Role in Harm Reduction

This PowerPoint slide deck can be used by prevention practitioners to educate their stakeholders, coalition members, and others on prevention’s role in enhancing harm reduction efforts. Facilitation tips are included in the notes section of each slide.

Worksheet: Using the Socio-Ecological Model To Develop Complementary Substance Misuse Prevention and Harm ReductionEfforts

This planning tool assists substance misuse prevention practitioners and harm reductionists in creating a complementary approach to prevention and harm reduction to reach people with different levels and types of risk in multiple social contexts.

Vermont Department of Health Logo

For Vermont Harm Reduction resources, click here.

Vermont CARES logo

Vermont CARES has four offices statewide, with generally consistent programs centered in each. Our main office is based in Burlington. We also maintain regional offices in St. Johnsbury, Rutland, and Montpelier. Here is a summary of what each offers:

National Harm Reduction Coalition

The work of Harm Reduction sits at the intersection of various movements. These issues are near and dear to our hearts though we can’t possibly adequately speak to all of them.

Thankfully, there are many passionate teams creating great resources to serve the needs of misrepresented communities who stand to benefit from evidence-based harm reduction strategies.  


Harm reduction is an approach that emphasizes engaging directly with people who use drugs to prevent overdose and infectious disease transmission, improve the physical, mental, and social wellbeing of those served, and offer low-threshold options for accessing substance use disorder treatment and other health care services.