Tayside Specialist Harm Reduction Nursing Team

Harm Reduction

Harm reduction refers to policies, programmes and practices that aim to reduce the harms associated with the use of psychoactive drugs in people unable or unwilling to stop. The defining features are the focus on the prevention of harm, rather than on the prevention of drug use itself, and the focus on people who continue to use drugs.  Harm reduction complements approaches that seek to prevent or reduce the overall level of drug consumption. It is based on the recognition that many people throughout the world continue to use psychoactive drugs despite even the strongest efforts to prevent the initiation or continued use of drugs. Harm reduction accepts that many people who use drugs are unable or unwilling to stop using drugs at any given time.

The term harm reduction describes the activities of services that were developed to limit the spread of HIV, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C amongst injecting drug users. Harm reduction goals also include reducing the risk of death from overdose and improving the general health of injecting drug users.

Harm reduction approaches prioritise reducing the negative effects of drug use over abstinence.

Specialist Harm Reduction Nursing Team

The Specialist Harm Reduction Team are based in The Cairn Centre, 12 Rattray Street, Dundee and offer outreach across Tayside. The team provides information and advice on safer drug use, safer injecting practices, alternatives to injecting, BBV prevention, overdose awareness and sexual health. The nurses can also offer treatment for injecting related injuries and specialist advice for those injecting Performance and Image Enhancing Drugs (steroids).

Nurse led Clinics are held throughout Tayside and can be accessed at Highland House either by dropping on a Monday or Wednesday or alternatively you can make an appointment by contacting the team on 01382 204248 or 07771965256