Harm reduction

Harm reduction is an approach, which refers to policies or programmes that focus directly on reducing the harm (health-related, social, economic) resulting from the use of drugs, both to the individual and the larger community. Harm reduction programmes help to prevent HIV, viral hepatitis, overdoses and other conditions widespread among injecting drug users and decreases drug-related social and health problems or death.

As harm reduction services tend to be low-threshold services they can also represent the first step on the way towards treatment, the first contact with clients outside of treatment.

Harm reduction services are the following: Needle/syringe programmes (NSP), opioid substitution treatment (OST); drug consumption rooms (DCR) and harm reduction in the recreational setting.

Apart from drug consumption rooms, all types of harm reduction services are available in Hungary. The turnover, client and contact data of the different harm reduction services are collected on a yearly basis.

National data is published in our National Report. Information received from member states is presented by the EMCDDA in the Annual Report, in publications concentrating on particular issues related to harm reduction and in the Statistical Bulletin. For evaluated harm reduction programmes and national or international guidelines see the Best Practice Portal of the EMCDDA