• Harm reduction is a policy philosophy aimed at minimizing negative health outcomes by embracing compassion and rejecting stigma. It is often described as “meeting people where they are.” • The core of harm reduction is acknowledging the lethality of modern drugs such as fentanyl. If you keep the person alive, you have a greater chance of getting them into long term recovery, even if that means tolerating their substance use for the moment. • Harm reduction does not mean condoning substance use, but it does mean withholding condemnation. • Tennessee already has a number of harm reduction policies in place, including increased naloxone availability, the Good Samaritan law, and syringe service programs (SSPs). These policies have already demonstrated a positive impact on overdose survivability, reduced transmission of infectious disease such as HIV, and increased entry into long term recovery. • Novel harm reduction strategies have been enacted in other parts of the United States, and are showing promising results for the fatal overdose rate
Kourvelas, Jeremy and Tourville, Jennifer G. DNP, "Harm Reduction" (2022). SMART Policy Briefs.