European Universities as Catalysts for Drug Policy Reform through Harm Reduction Strategies


1.Dr. Roberto Perez Gayo (⚑ Netherlands) 1

2.Dr. Rafaela Rigoni (⚑ Netherlands) 1

3.Dr. Iga Jeziorska (⚑ Netherlands) 1

4.Ms. Katrin Schiffer (⚑ Netherlands) 1

1. Correlation - European Harm Reduction Network


Growing concerns about widening inequities has prompted new conceptions and directions of the third mission of universities, including social inequity, poverty or immigration issues. In the field of drugs, drug use, and harm reduction, universities are uniquely placed to contribute to solving its cross-sectoral and systemic challenges.

To fully reach their potential for transformative change, European universities require a renewed motivation to orient their institutional strategies, teaching programs and research activities to promote inclusive and mutually beneficial engagement with communities that not only co-produce scholarly outputs but also co-produce development outcomes.

This presentation contributes to better understanding and strengthening the impact of European universities in the field of drugs and drug policy by drawing attention to the competences and strategies required to engage and learn with communities and their contexts, as well as to the knowledge, skills and educational programs required to support professionals across disciplines contribute to ensuring the well-being and rights of people who use drugs.

Based on theoretically-informed reflection on empirical evidence resulting from cooperation activities that Correlation - European Harm Reduction Network have implemented with different European universities and research institutes, the presentation provides insight into key factors and harm reduction methods and strategies that facilitate the design of locally-derived solutions to the negative outcomes associated with drug use, coordination of engagement activities, and the co-production, transformation, and circulation of knowledge.


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