Images of eventsThe Pennsylvania Harm Reduction Coalition (PAHRC) is a collaboration between various organizations including treatment providers, harm reduction programs, medical entities, social service agencies, academia, criminal justice reform projects, activists, and ordinary people.

The mission of PAHRC is to promote the health, dignity, and human rights of individuals who use drugs and communities impacted by drug use.

We carry out our mission by:

  • Increasing knowledge and capacity of those impacted by social inequity, criminalization, and stigma
  • Educating key decision-makers on effective policy and advocating for its implementation 
  • Building community power and leadership through training, outreach, and engagement

Our current initiatives & campaigns:

PAHRC is dedicated to advocating for, and with, individuals who are currently using substances to receive competent care and comprehensive services. Our immediate goal is to expand access to sterile injection equipment, naloxone, and other harm reduction oriented services throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. We welcome anyone who is interested in promoting evidence-based and humane responses to substance use to join us!

  • Latest from the blog

    Housing First & Harm Reduction: Fundamental Rights Hand-in-Hand

    Our most basic needs for survival are food, water, warmth, and rest, but a person is only able to maintain these things if they first have safety and security. When someone is living on the street, it takes a huge amount of effort, on a daily basis, to stay on top of these basic needs.  Resolving the issues that led them to be on the street might have to take a back seat. People tell our staff all the time that, prior to housing, they wanted to do something about their underlying issues, but living was the priority. Dealing with serious mental illness, trauma, substance use, or lack of independent living skills are absolutely important, but you might not know-how to start if you also don’t have a picture where your next meal is coming from, or whether you will find shelter during the next heatwave.
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    Fentanyl Test Strips: A Simple Harm Reduction Strategy that Saves Lives

    In 2018, almost 70,000 Americans died from a drug overdose, and among those two thirds were associated with opioids. This is higher than deaths from HIV, car crashes and gun violence at their highest levels. Recently, U.S. life expectancy dropped for the third year in a row, which represents the longest sustained decline in expected lifespan since 1915-1918, a time when World War I and the influenza pandemic claimed many lives. The primary cause — illicit fentanyl and other synthetic opioids in the drug supply.  Synthetic opioids are found in most overdose deaths Today’s drug supply is heavily tainted, and frequently contains illicit fentanyl (a synthetic, short acting opioid), a drug 50-100 times more potent than morphine. The potency leaves little room for error and makes overdose risk high. Fentanyl and its analogs claimed over 30,000 lives in 2018 (40% of all overdose deaths). In Philadelphia, illicit fentanyl was found in over 85% of overdose deaths in 2018. The reality is that we are dealing with an ongoing fentanyl crisis that supply side strategies can’t fix. What we can do is use smarter approaches to reduce harm and save lives.
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