Lessons Learned: Harm Reduction-Public Safety Partnerships

May 15, 2024

In 2023, the National Council for Mental Wellbeing, with support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), awarded funding to eight grantees across the country to implement harm reduction-public safety collaborations aimed at reducing the risk of overdose and other drug-related harms for people who use drugs and people with substance use disorders who are, or may become, justice-involved. The power of these collaborations and lessons learned from these partnerships have the potential to change the way communities view and address substance use nationally.

This brief offers a quick summary of the historical tensions between harm reduction and public safety, lessons learned from real-world pilots with case studies and further resources to learn more about harm reduction and public safety partnerships.

This project is supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of a financial assistance award totaling $1 million with 100% funded by CDC/HHS. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement by, CDC/HHS or the U.S. Government.