Harm reduction measures in stimulant use: GPDPD and MAINline provide important new findings
The Dutch institute MAINline presents the study "Speed limits - Harm reduction for people who use stimulants" on behalf of GPDPD. The report investigates the effectiveness of harm reduction measures for people who use stimulant drugs to a problematic extent.
The concept of harm reduction combines all those efforts aimed at averting or reducing the negative health, social and economic consequences of the consumption of illicit substances, such as social degradation and the spread of contagious diseases. Traditionally, harm reduction programmes have focused on injecting drug use of opioids. Interventions in the use of stimulant drugs such as smokable methamphetamine or cocaine have not yet been comprehensively analysed.
The consumption of these stimulants has increased worldwide. The first comprehensive study for harm reduction in this area therefore is of particular importance. The study makes an important contribution to closing the knowledge gap in the field of harm reduction beyond traditional measures.
The study consists of two parts: First, it presents the state of research on existing scientific literature. It identifies 12 different harm reduction strategies for stimulant use. These include safer smoking kits, prevention of sexual risks and drug consumption rooms. Second, seven good practice examples from Brazil, the Netherlands, South Africa, Indonesia, Uruguay, Spain and Canada are presented.
It becomes clear that there is still great need for further research in the area of appropriate strategies to prevent harms caused by the use of stimulant drugs. This groundbreaking study serves as an important starting point to be able to meet the increasing consumption with proven and evidence-based harm reduction measures in the future.
The study can be downloaded here.