In 2018, almost 70,000 people died of an accidental drug overdose in the United States. Accidental drug overdoses are now the leading cause of death for those under 50 — exceeding deaths from firearms, car accidents, homicides, and HIV. Today, America faces a crisis of overdose deaths and drug-related disease, and healthcare professionals are on the front lines of this crisis.
Though well-intentioned, our systems of care often do great harm to people who use drugs (PWUD) and communities impacted by drug use. Archaic attitudes, stigma, and discrimination are significant barriers that must be addressed to improve engagement and care for PWUD. Solutions to these barriers extend beyond education and include integration of evidence-based prevention, treatment, and harm reduction strategies.
Our goal as healthcare professionals should be to create environments that foster connection, trust, and healing. This does not come easy. The unique challenges presented when working with PWUD can leave medical professionals feeling jaded and angry — and contribute to compassion fatigue and burnout.
The Pennsylvania Harm Reduction Coalition’s Medical Professional Training Program is designed to go beyond just education and provide healthcare professionals with knowledge, insights, strategies, and support to better engage with patients who use drugs.
This training program is designed specifically for professionals in the medical field such as emergency department & urgent care staff, EMTs & paramedics, case management & hospital social workers, behavioral health unit staff, warm hand-off staff, and health administration professionals.
Our trainings cover a broad range of topics, including:
- The Overdose Crisis
- The Disease of Addiction & Multiple Pathways to Recovery
- Stigma, Discrimination, and Language
- Racial Inequities in Healthcare
- Harm Reduction as an Evidence-Based Public Health Response
- Trauma and Trauma-Informed Care
- Building Trust and Equitable Partnerships with PWUD
- Compassion Fatigue and Burnout
- Exploring Systemic Barriers in Healthcare for People who Use Drugs
- Advocacy for Healthcare Professionals
Implementable Changes to Existing Programs
If you would like to request a training, or to receive more information about our medical professional training program, please fill out the form below. Our staff will get back to you shortly!