The 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

    Harm Reduction: Law Enforcement’s New Strategy to End the War on Drugs

    In 2018 the Pennsylvania Harm Reduction Coalition (PAHRC) embarked on an unlikely journey with the Pennsylvania Sheriffs Association (PSA). Funded by a grant from Bloomberg Philanthropies and working closely with Vital Strategies, our organization stepped into uncharted waters. In that same year almost 5000 Pennsylvanian’s died of a drug overdose — a rate that’s close to double the national average. The data paints a grim picture but remember these are lives. Each death is a life lost, a wounded family, and a community harmed in endless ways. This we cannot accept. In 1980 over 40,000 people were incarcerated for drug crimes, today that number is almost 500,000 — an increase of 1,000 percent. Nationally, almost 70,000 people died of an accidental drug overdose in 2018, exceeding deaths from firearms, car accidents, and HIV/AIDS. The financial cost is staggering. The White House Council of Economic Advisers estimates almost $1 trillion is lost each year to the disease of addiction — and things aren’t improving.
    read more

    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.
    read more
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