Resources for people who use drugs and parent, for family/loved ones and health, harm reduction, substance use and social service workers

Women who Use Drugs and Narcofeminism: Changing the Narrative | August 13

Urban Survivors Union’s Narcofeminism Story Share in the US, the Antiprohibitionist Women’s Network in Brazil, and Metzineres in Spain, across the globe from each other, are all seeking to not just fulfill our material needs as women who use drugs and sell sex, but also our need for self-expression in culture projects. Narcofeminism Story Share has been undertaken for three years by a diverse group of activist women who sell sex and use drugs. It delineates the difference between the stories we tell to survive--the ones steeped in reductive abstinence model dogma which we tell probation officers, social workers, and other gatekeepers---and those we tell to make sense of our messy, complicated lives. Narcofeminism Story Share honors truths we’ve only heard before in the informal oral history of other drug-using and sex-selling women, behind closed doors, but never in mainstream representations of our lives. It is about crafting and telling stories which disrupt the ubiquitous narratives upholding stigma against us, allowing for our criminalization and victimization as well as our own self-hatred.During this presentation, Narcofeminism Story Share leaders Louise Vincent,Dinah Ortiz, and Caty Simon will tell their own stories challenging mainstream narratives about topics like women’s initiation into injection drug use by men and the overdose crisis. They will discuss how writing, editing, and telling these stories helped them challenge their own internalized stigma, built up over years of criminalization and trauma. Finally, they’ll explain how through this project, story sharing has become a vital organizing tool in UrbanSurvivors Union and North Carolina Survivors Union work with many different populations, from women with Hep C to methadone patients.

Stimulus Connect 8: Harm Reduction Tools for Parents and Caregivers | Stimulus Conference 2020 (Canadian)

December 4, 2020

There are a range of factors, and layers of overlapping oppression that can challenge parents and caregivers who use substances. This oppression may include sexism, racism, colonialism, classism and homophobia. What are some harm reduction strategies for parents or caregivers who use substances? What are the implications of professionals making assumptions about parents and other caregivers who use substances (e.g. what is the real duty to report)? How can service providers address barriers faced by caregivers accessing services? How should we manage children’s services? What do we do when there is no “best practice”? Please join us as we Connect.

In preparation we gathered a few resources, documents and media articles that you may be find helpful.

Webinar Drug Policy Alliance (United States) (1) Public Benefits, the Drug War, and Denial of Benefits | Uprooting the Drug War: Discussion Series - YouTube

This webinar explores the ways in which the drug war has infiltrated the public benefits system. It is the second in a series of six webinars about DPA’s initiative, Uprooting the Drug War ( Rhonda Rogombe, Roberta “Toni” Meyers Douglas, Lauren Johnson, Alexis Pleus, Julilly Kohler-Haussman.

Criminalization, racism, citizenship, ableism, and parenting impact a person’s ability to find work, and the informal sale of services and goods (e.g. drug selling, sex work, street vending) is a lifeline for many who are shut out of or choose not to work in the formal economy. COVID-19 has disrupted markets, further exacerbating economic instability and increasing the risk of COVID-19 and police aggression and violence.

This is the fifth in a series of seven discussions that DPA held on COVID-19 and drug policy. These discussions bring together advocates and allies in the justice reform movement to discuss how we can sustain progress, which obstacles still remain, and how we can use the current moment to be more aspirational with our policy agendas.

Speakers: Leila Raven, DecrimNY and Hacking and Hustling; Caty Simon, Urban Survivors Union; Tamika Spellman, HIPS; Nik Theodore, University of Chicago To learn more, visit

Mothering and Substance Use- Approaches to Prevention Harm Reduction and Treatment.pdf

Mothering and Substance Use: Approaches to Prevention, Harm Reduction, and Treatment (Canadian)

2010_GenderingNatFrameworkMotheringandSubstanceUse.pdf ( and attached. Background Mothers and pregnant women with substance use problems face multiple barriers in accessing support and treatment services. Fuelled by misinformation about women’s substance use and addiction, and harsh media representations, stigma and judgement are ever-present in women’s support networks, service delivery, and program policies. Although there are welcoming and mother-centred programs across Canada, there are vast gaps in the availability and accessibility of these services, depending on the required level of care, mothering status, and the severity of health and social problems. Due to fears of disclosure and limited data, it is difficult to quantify how many mothers and pregnant women have substance use problems. Includes examples of Canadian mother-centered programs: Tier 5 - Intensive residential treatment Tier 4 - Structured and specialized outpatient services Tier 3 - Acute, proactive outreach and harm reduction services Tier 2 - Brief support and referral by a wide range of professionals Tier 1 - Community-based and outreach services

NYTIMES article February 2020 Tennesses county drug prevention coalition teaching Children How to Reverse an Overdose.docx

Solidarity Talks 05/18/2021: Vikki Reynolds & Janice Abbott

Vikki Reynolds in dialogue with Janice Abbott (she/her), Atira Group of Women Serving Agencies, Greater Vancouver, B.C. (unceded territories of the Tsleil-Waututh, Squamish, Musqueam, Hwlitsum, Katzie, Kwantlen, Kwikwetlem, Matsqui, Qayqayt, Semiahmoo, Tsawwassen, and Stó:lō Nations). 28 years and counting…

Pregnancy and Drug Use in the Central Valley: Hear from the Experts - YouTube Drug use and pregnancy are sensitive subjects that are often addressed without the opportunity to hear from experts. Please view our webinar featuring medical experts who discuss evidence-based research on drug use, addiction, and pregnancy. In addition, local legal and community advocates offer insight into the current responses to drug use and pregnancy in the Central Valley and approaches that will advance maternal, fetal, and child health.

In this virtual panel, medical, community, and legal advocacy experts discuss the effects of prenatal substance exposure on pregnancy outcomes and how the Central Valley community can best respond to drug use during pregnancy.

This educational event included a discussion about Chelsea Becker's case in Hanford, CA.

Moderator Kassandra Frederique is joined by Susan Burton, Jessica Care Moore, Chloe Cockburn, Elle Hearns, Eunisses Hernandez, Julita Lemgruber, Lynn Paltrow, and Deborah Small to talk about the war on drugs, and its specific gendered and intersecting issues.

The International Drug Policy Reform Conference is a biennial event that brings together people from around the world who believe that the war on drugs must end. Reform attendees have the opportunity to spend three days interacting with people committed to finding alternatives to the war on drugs while participating in sessions given by leading experts from around the world. Learn more about Reform here:

You're doing what? Merging Harm Reduction and Trauma‐Informed Practice in VAW Shelters

This webinar focuses on how harm reduction philosophy and practices are being implemented in many Violence Against Women (VAW) shelters in Ontario. Harm reduction is complementary to the trauma-informed practices that shelters are already applying in service delivery to the women and children they support. The linkages between harm reduction and trauma-informed practice will be examined both on a theoretical level and through analysis of case situations specific to the adult and child residents in shelters. The case situations are drawn from qualitative research data based on work with VAW shelters in Ontario. Learning Objectives:

National Safer Supply Community of Practice: 2021-10-07: Uprooting Medical Violence - Nanky Rai

Webinar Recording: (1 hour 28 minutes)


This fantastic talk challenges us all to develop an approach to Safer Supply programs that challenge oppressive practices in health care and that does not replicate or amplify power and privilege as it exists in society. Listeners come away with a better understanding of how medical violence operates, the systems of power that enable violence in our health care settings, and strategies uprooting oppression and growing health justice.

Stimulus Connect 4: Women experience increased barriers to health and social services, and when they use drugs and/or engage in sex work they experience additional stigma and discrimination. Women who are pregnant experience the additional judgements of government authorities and many health care providers about the choices they make including: to carry or not carry a fetus, to parent or give a child up, to access or not access prenatal care. In addition power imbalances in relationships mean that as injection drug users they are often second on the needle, reliant on a male for drugs to be injected.

There are a range of factors, and layers of overlapping oppression including sexism, racism, and classism, that lead women to need women-centred harm reduction programs and policies responsive to their lived realities. Their resilience is our teacher. Please join us as we Connect.

  1. Gendering the Scene: Women, Gender-Diverse People, and Harm Reduction in Canada

  2. Gendering the Scene: We need to listen to women and gender-diverse people who use drugs

  3. Women and Harm Reduction in Ontario: A Capacity Building Toolkit

  4. Women and Substance Use: An Interview with Ann Livingston

  5. “Bed Bugs and Beyond”: An ethnographic analysis of North America’s first women-only supervised drug consumption site

  6. Gendered violence and overdose prevention sites: a rapid ethnographic study during an overdose epidemic in Vancouver, Canada

  7. (Re)shaping the self: An ethnographic study of the embodied and spatial practices of women who use drugs

  8. Women’s utilization of housing-based overdose prevention sites in Vancouver, Canada: An ethnographic study

  9. Gendered drug policy: Motherisk and the regulation of mothering in Canada

  10. Anything written by Susan Boyd, including: With Child: Substance Use During Pregnancy, a Woman-Centred Approach

  11. Multi-Service Programs for Pregnant and Parenting Women with Substance Use Concerns: Women’s Perspectives on Why They Seek Help and Their Significant Changes

  12. Digital Health Solutions to Support Women with Addiction During COVID-19: Applying a Gender- and Trauma-Informed Lens

  13. Substance Use (SU) among Women in the Context of the Corollary Pandemics of COVID-19 and Intimate Partner Violence (IPV)

  14. The Gender Elephant is an educational tool that can be used by anyone to help learn and teach the concepts of gender identity, gender expression, sex, physical attraction, and romantic attraction.

  15. Brain Story Certification Learn the scientific underpinnings of the Brain Story from leading experts and be eligible for credits.

Race, Pregnancy, and the Opioid Epidemic: White Privilege and the Criminalization of Opioid Use During Pregnancy

In NAPW's study, Arrests of and Forced Interventions on Pregnant Women in the United States, 1973-2005: Implications for Women's Legal Status and Public Health, Jeanne Flavin and Lynn M. Paltrow documented the fact that an overwhelming and disproportionate number of arrests and detentions were brought against women of color and especially low-income Black women. Such women were targeted because of their race, pregnancy, and drug use - most often cocaine. Since 2005, and with attention shifting to the use of opioids, the majority of women arrested in relationship to their pregnancies have been low-income, rural white women. NAPW is honored to have Professor Khiara M. Bridges join us in a webinar that examines this shift, why it has happened, and what we can learn about white privilege from this shift.

pregnancy and substance use- a harm reduction toolkit National Harm Reduction Coaltion and Academy of Perinatal Harm Reduction.pdf

Pregnancy and Substance Use: A Harm Reduction Toolkit National Harm Reduction Coalition + Academy of Perinatal Harm Reduction (United States)

09.17.20_Pregnancy-and-Substance-Use-2.pdf ( and attached

This toolkit on pregnancy and substance use from a harm reduction perspective includes information intended for pregnant and parenting people who use drugs, their loved ones, and their service providers. It includes guidance about motivational interviewing and stigma reduction, information about the effects of substance use during pregnancy and when breastfeeding, and treatment options. In addition, there is information about navigating the health care and legal systems and information about child welfare policies specific to New York State. A tool-kit on pregnancy and substance use from a harm reduction perspective from the Harm Reduction Coalition and the Academy of Perinatal Harm Reduction.

Drugs, Alcohol, and Parenting: A workbook for parents (from the United Kingdom)

dap workbook [ 2 ] aw ( Who this book is for: This is a workbook for parents who want to think about the impact their drug use/alcohol use and lifestyle may have on their children. It has been written to help you discuss things with your drug worker, counselor, social worker, or other person who is supporting you, to understand the situation better and to think about any changes you could make. Written by Mary Glover - an experienced childcare social worker, drug worker and trainer, the book explains what children need, what social care services expect, and how drugs and alcohol can affect childcare. The book helps parents understand what they need to do, and also gives practical tips on how to do it. With unique self-scoring questions, parents and workers are able to assess the situation, and monitor and chart progress over time. A child protection ‘the bottom line’ page in every section means that everyone knows exactly where they stand, preventing misunderstandings and giving children the best possible chance of being cared for by their parents. As well as being an excellent case work tool, the book provides workers new to the field with a clear explanation of the issues. Divided into sections, the book covers:

  • Drug and alcohol use;

  • The needs of children;

  • Safety in the home; and

  • Support networks.

How The War On Drugs Provides The Path To Ending The Right To Abortion

The war on drugs involves criminal laws that prohibit possession and distribution of certain substances by certain groups of people. It also responds to a public health issues (drug dependency) through the criminal law system. Laws that prohibit common human activities - such as drinking alcohol, using drugs, and having abortions have all failed to stop those activities. As we know, when abortion was fully criminalized in the U.S. it is estimated that between 200,000 and 1 million women had abortions each year. And clearly neither alcohol nor drug prohibition stopped the use of those substances. While many people feel that the war on drugs is a completely separate issue from the war on abortion, history, and experience at NAPW demonstrates how these two mechanisms of government control are connected and synergistic when it comes to efforts to end the right to choose abortion and give government authorities power to control pregnant people.

This Webinar provides an overview of the war on drugs and discusses how it is providing the design and methods for depriving pregnant people of their right to abortion and their status as full rights bearing persons.

Panelists include: Lynn M. Paltrow, Deborah Small, Amber Khan

Women Harm Reduction and HIV September 2007 Open Society Foundation.pdf

Women, Harm Reduction, and HIV Pinkham S, Malinowska-Sempruch K (2007). Women, Harm Reduction, and HIV. New York: International Harm Reduction Development Program of the Open Society Institute. women_20070920.pdf (International)

“For women who inject drugs, the stigma of injection drug use is added to gendered discrimination; these factors combined can push women into behaviors that increase their risk of HIV. Factors that reduce women drug users’ access to health care include punitive policies, discrimination by police and health care providers, the intense social stigma attached to drug use by women, a preponderance of harm reduction and drug treatment programs directed primarily toward men, an absence of sexual and reproductive health services for drug users, and poor access to effective outpatient drug treatment, in which methadone or buprenorphine are prescribed to reduce cravings for illicit opiates.” “Increasing women drug users’ access to needed services, including drug treatment, harm reduction, and sexual and reproductive health care services, is crucial. Achieving this goal requires policies that encourage women to seek drug treatment and harm reduction rather than punishing or stigmatizing them for drug use during pregnancy or motherhood; increased availability of medication-assisted treatment; incorporation of sexual and reproductive health and other women’s services into harm reduction programs; flexible, low-threshold services that are more convenient for women with children; and links between harm reduction, drug treatment, women’s shelters, and violence prevention services.”


Patt Denning (Harm Reduction Therapy Center) talking about harm reduction for friends and family. Patt Denning At SF Library hd - YouTube

This video is a great intro to harm reduction, alternatives to abstinence only/disease model of addiction = all roads to recovery, impact of stigma and shame on family and their loved one, pathways to better health and healing. Great resource for helpers, family/friends, and people who use substances/drink.

Harm Reduction Therapy With Families and Friends Patt Denning PhD.pdf
Harm Reduction for Friends and Family.doc

Over the Influence: The Harm Reduction Guide to Controlling Your Drug and Alcohol Use by Patt Denning and Jeannie Little Great for families, people who use drugs/drink and want to make changes from safer use/drinking, to reduced use, to sobriety. Great information on substance use and mental health, worksheets, practical information, evidence based and trauma informed self-help.

family-toolkit-2018 Here to Help understanding mental and substance use.pdf

Talking to your kid about substance use- talking to your students

First of All: Harm Reduction for Parents & Teachers First of All: Harm Reduction for Parents & Teachers Harm Reduction for Parents & Teachers – YouTube

Despite the good intentions of decades of Just Say No campaigns, we have not effectively curbed drug use or drug related deaths by embracing abstinence-based drug education. Nor have we adequately prepared adults to navigate the new and evolving landscape of drugs, including the advent and rise of vaping and fentanyl-laced drug supplies. In this episode, parents and teachers will have the opportunity to learn from other parents and teachers about the need for a fresh perspective and the benefits of learning a non-judgmental, harm reduction approach to drug use.

Safety First: Real Drug Education for Teens

Safety First: Real Drug Education for Teens is the nation’s first harm reduction-based drug education curriculum for high school teachers. The free curriculum consists of 15 lessons that can be completed in a 45- to 50-minute class period.

Each lesson is designed to engage students through interactive activities such as discussions and role-playing. The curriculum is aligned with National Health Education Standards as well as Common Core State Standards so it can be easily integrated into Health classes.


Are you looking for a remote, distance-learning drug education resource? We’ve collaborated with our Safety First pilot teachers, youth development specialists and education technologists to offer a Distance Learning version of the Safety First: Real Drug Education for Teens curriculum.

The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed the varied learning and health needs of students, teachers and families, and DPA remains committed to providing harm reduction-based educational resources that reach everyone exactly where they’re at.

Our distance learning version of Safety First:

  • Easily integrates into Google Classroom

  • Allows for asynchronous student learning

  • Contains learning activities that can be completed collaboratively as a class, at home individually, or with a family member, parent or household member

  • Encourages media and health literacy skills, relying on vetted learning techniques such as the CRAAP test

  • Maintains a trauma-informed approach, like the in-person version of the curriculum


Friends and Family - Harm Reduction Works Online Group Laurie Quinn is a certified addiction recovery coach with Our Wellness Collective in Columbia County. Tuesdays 6:30pm EST Meeting Link:

Friends & Family Harm Reduction Works (HRW) is an open Mutual Aid meeting open to anyone who is interested in support & empowerment. Everyone is welcome! Finding meeting time/speaker updates Our Wellness Collective | Facebook Harm Reduction Works-HRW | Facebook

Parents Harm Reduction Works Online Group Love ‘Em Where they are At HRW (Harm Reduction Works) group for anyone in a parenting role for someone who uses drugs and or alcohol. Saturdays 7pm EST Everyone is welcome especially parents and guardians who aren’t sure what harm reduction is or whether it can help them. Kathleen Cochran | Facebook Harm Reduction Works-HRW | Facebook


Harm Reduction Works Zoom Meetings

The “harm reduction works” meetings welcome all goals- abstinence, partial abstinence, safer use, managed use. These meeting are super welcoming, have started up in many locations across the U.S. and are a great place for people who want an alternative to (or addition to) other recovery support.

Medication-Assisted Recovery Anonymous Meetings via Zoom

Do you use prescribed medication to treat various drug and alcohol use disorders? Many people who utilize evidence-based science to aid in their recovery sometimes feel uncomfortable in their day to day lives. Additionally, a multitude of people on this healing path have even felt unwelcome at traditional recovery meetings. We understand. At Medication-Assisted Recovery Anonymous (MARA), you're always welcome!

Here is list of Zoom abstinence focused Recovery Meetings (Sobriety/Abstinence as the Goal) AA/NA, SMART Recovery, Reddit Recovery, LifeRing and more:Meetings:

Support for people who have lost a loved one to overdose

GRASP Grief Recovery for Those Who Have Lost Due to Drug Use -GRASP ( local meetings, online meetings, resources, support and love

Broken No More Drug Policy Reform and Grief Recovery | Broken No More (

Change, Heal, Support. Our mission is to provide support and guidance to those who have lost a loved one due to substance use, to advance the treatment of, and eventual cures for addiction / substance use disorder in a meaningful and useful way and to effect positive policy changes in the current failed war on drugs.