Harm Reduction: A Public Health Approach to Opioid Use Disorder

Course Description:

This course provides an overview of opioid use disorder and the use of harm reduction strategies as a public health approach to mitigate the risk and stigma associated with opioid use. This training is brought to you by the Western Region Public Health Training Center in collaboration with Sonoran Prevention Works, a comprehensive harm reduction organization based in Arizona that combines direct service, legislative advocacy, and capacity building to create stronger, healthier communities for people made vulnerable by substance use. 

This course consists of 5 modules that provide an overview of opioid use disorder and the use of harm reduction strategies to mitigate the risk and stigma associated with opioid use.

Module 1: Introduction to Opioid Use Disorder

In this module, we will explain opioid use disorder in the context of the social-ecological model, describe the social determinants of health and mental health factors that influence opioid use disorder, and describe the root causes of the current opioid crisis in the United States.

Module 2: Principles of Harm Reduction

In this module, we will define harm reduction, give examples of harm reduction strategies specific to opioid use, and describe the role stigma plays in opioid use.

Module 3: Understanding Behavior Change

In this module, we will discuss systemic barriers encountered by people who use drugs, list and define the components of the stages of change model, and apply the stages of change model to real-life scenarios.

Module 4: Opioid Overdose - Prevention and Response

In this module, we will describe opioids, including opiates, and note typical reasons for their use, describe the signs and symptoms of an opioid overdose and appropriate overdose response, list common myths associated with opioid overdoses, and describe the physiological mechanism of action of Naloxone/Narcan.

Module 5: Harm Reduction Implementation

In this module, we will explain the link between harm reduction strategies and the transmission of infections. We will also share examples of proven harm reduction strategies implemented in community-based settings.   

Note: After completing the training presentation, you must complete a short quiz and feedback evaluation to receive a certificate of completion.

Course Duration: Approximately 1 hour

Continuing Education Information: 1.0 CECH for CHES

Register HERE.