Description & History

The Harm Reduction Coalition (HRC) was founded in 1993 and incorporated in 1994 by a working group consisting of needle exchange providers, advocates and drug users Today, HRC is a diverse network of community- based organizations, service providers, researchers, policy-makers, academics, and activists challenging the persistent stigma placed on people who use drugs and advocating for sensible policy reform. HRC is a national advocacy and capacity-building organization that promotes the health and dignity of individuals and communities impacted by drug use and the "war on drugs." HRC advances policies and programs that help people address the adverse effects of drug use including overdose, HIV, hepatitis C, addiction, and incarceration. We recognize that the structures of social inequality impact the lives and options of affected communities differently, and work to uphold every individual's right to health and well-being, as well as in their competence to protect themselves, their loved ones, and their communities.

Since its inception in 1994, HRC advances public policy by prioritizing areas where structural inequalities and social injustice magnify drug-related harm. HRC operates five core programs: 1. technical assistance, training, and capacity building on expanding syringe access, overdose prevention and education, hepatitis C prevention and treatment, and HIV prevention in communities of color 2. policy analysis and advocacy on drug user health issues in local, regional, and national arenas 3. publications, reports, and topical materials 4. national and regional conferences, community forums, and coalitions and 5. extensive education/training on harm reduction principles and practice through the Harm Reduction Training Institute.

The core programs integrate a particular focus on the most at-risk communities, such as women drug users, concentrating on environmental factors that contribute women's vulnerability to drug-related harm. Within this context, HRC's core projects have a unique understanding of how structural forces hinder the health and well-being of women drug users and applies this expertise in the Women & Drug Use Network.

About the organization

Harm Reduction Coalition

Velvet Lattimore
Program Assistant
(212) 213-6376 ext: 35
Maria Josepher
Deputy Director
(212) 213-6376 ext: 28
Organization’s website: