In this section we present the current evidence base for harm reduction interventions. It should be noted that the available literature often studies only one intervention at a time, so, where available, we provide pooled results or narrative conclusions from studies of specific interventions. However, it has been pointed out that, given that only the combination of interventions seems to have an effect (Hickman, 2010), considering the evidence for each intervention in isolation fails to give a true picture. And as harm reduction interventions are public health interventions which address whole communities, their effectiveness is influenced by environmental conditions which needs to be taken into consideration when planning a strategy. Because of this, for more complete information on harm reduction strategies, it is important to refer to the specialised literature. Detailled information on the methodology used and the definition of terms can be found on the methodology page.
Hickman, M. (2010), ‘HCV prevention — a challenge for evidence-based harm reduction’, in European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA), Harm reduction: evidence, impacts and challenges, Rhodes, T. and Hedrich, D. (eds), Monograph 10, pp. 405–32, Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg.
Select a client profile from the list below to view a ranking for different interventions, based on the likelyhood of reaching a desired harm reduction result:
The Best practice portal draws on the best-available evidence. However, it is not intended as a source of advice or recommendation for individual patients or professionals. The information given here is not a substitute for the exercise of professional judgement. If you are not qualified or experienced enough to make that judgement, you should seek professional advice.