The 2022 National Harm Reduction Conference comes at a time when harm reduction, health care, and drug policy reform have entered a dynamic and critical phase. The prescription opioid and heroin overdose epidemic has captured national attention, with renewed focus on transmission of HIV and viral hepatitis among people who use drugs. These trends are reshaping the policy and public health landscapes, making harm reduction more urgent and relevant than ever before.
The biennial event is the only conference of its kind in the United States. For four days, some of the most creative minds from the U.S. and abroad come together to address a myriad of complex issues facing the harm reduction movement. A diverse community of people who use drugs, social justice activists, service providers, healthcare workers, researchers, policymakers, public health officials, and law enforcement— all coming together to put an end to the harms and injustices caused by the War on Drugs.
State laws and policies can sometimes be hard to find and understand, so what are ways we can make this information more accessible to the communities they impact? If you are new to public health or coalition work, this training will help walk you through how to find public policy information in the Massachusetts State House, how policy can be used to support our work, and the ways in which coalitions can empower themselves to engage with their local policymakers in ways that work for their coalition and its members. There are many ways coalitions and their members can insert themselves in each stage of the process of policy change. The trainer will review how coalitions can find state policies and determine where they fit into the policy change process. Through group work and skill-building, participants will walk away with knowledge to increase their effectiveness and impact within the community, and feel confident in bringing their voice into the local policy arena.