What is Harm Reduction?
Harm reduction is a set of ideas aimed at reducing negative consequences associated with substance misuse for individuals, their families and communities by meeting people where they are. The practice extends to many services including disease prevention, syringe exchange, safer use practices and linking people to housing, food access, insurance, medical care, substance use treatment and behavioral health services. Harm reduction practices are used by everybody, every day.
Harm reduction services are provided at many local health departments in Kentucky as established in
Senate Bill 192. Services are available free of cost to any person who uses drugs, regardless of method. These programs are a great resource to obtain harm reduction supplies such as sterile syringes, naloxone, wound care kits and fentanyl test strips. Additionally, these programs provide linkages to critical services and programs, including substance use treatment, HIV and viral hepatitis screening, vaccinations, social and behavioral health services, employment opportunities and other clinical and social programs. For more information about legality, please see
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Upcoming Harm Reduction Events
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6 Year Anniversary
Harm Reduction Summit
Kentucky’s annual Harm Reduction Summit brings together professionals from many different fields to discuss best practices and novel research in fields related to harm reduction. Distinguished presenters include national, state, regional and local authorities on various topics.
The 2023 Kentucky Harm Reduction Summit was held June 14 – 15, 2023 in Richmond, Kentucky.
Previous Harm Reduction Summit Session Recordings
Previous Harm Reduction Summit Endured Materials
First Responder Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act
In 2023, the Kentucky Department for Public Health was awarded the First Responders- Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (FR-CARA) grant by The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. The goal of the FR-CARA grant in Kentucky is to expand naloxone training and dispensing for first responders throughout rural counties and to increase awareness for ongoing harm reduction activities and personal safety measures for opioid exposures.
See if your county and profession are eligible: FR-CARA Fact Sheet.pdf
Syringe Services Program (SSP) Expansion Project
In partnership with KORE, DPH awards 50 mini grants to Local Health Departments with SSPs to expand efforts such as increasing hours of operation, hiring a peer support specialist or targeting vulnerable populations for services.
2022 SSP Expansion Project Outcomes
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