(2 CEU Live Webinar) Harm Reduction Strategies

Wednesday, 30 March 2022 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM EDT

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Wednesday, 30 March 2022 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM EDT

2 Clinical CEUs

 In partnership with NASW-NJ

Globally there is a transition from a criminal justice to a public health approach to addiction, the path led by both the World Health Organization and the UN. The US is one of the last first world countries to continue to not only use, but promote the criminal justice approach. This is in direct conflict with core social work values of social justice and dignity and worth of a person and our ethical responsibility to promote the well-being of our clients and promote their right to self-determination. 


This presentation will review the seven principles of harm reduction practice, the foundation of a public health approach, and detail specific strategies commonly used in the counseling relationship.  The Harm Reduction Model acknowledges that drug use is a part of our world and works to keep people who use drugs safe rather than to ignore or condemn them. This unconditional positive regard allows for a referral point when people do shift their stage of change for treatment readiness. It also recognizes that such behavior change is not simple and therefore does not threaten the connection or counseling relationship should a client continue to use drugs or slip back to drug use should they decide to attempt abstinence.



1. Attendees will learn the components of harm reduction and how to incorporate this model into their clinical practices.

 2. Drug use serves a purpose in people’s lives, attendees will understand the role of harm reduction in client engagement and the need for client advocacy in treatment program policy making around mandated abstinence. 

 3. Attendees will learn epidemiological data about the many ways of recovery from substance misuse, including without formal treatment and even without seeking abstinence. 

 4. Key public health harm reduction strategies will be detailed and attendees will be offered access to free training in the use of Narcan. Upon completion Narcan will be mailed to their address of record.


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National Association of Social Workers-Delaware

For more information, contact Makyla Burke at mburke.naswde@socialworkers.org or call 302-251-9212 x 127

Contact the Organizer View other events

Sandy Gibson, PhD, LCSW, LCADC is a Professor with The College of New Jersey. She received her masters and PhD in social work from the University of Maryland with a specialization in addictions. She worked as an addiction counselor for six year in Alexandria, Virginia before completing her PhD in social work and becoming a Study Director at a research institute at Temple University for seven years. There she developed and evaluated addiction prevention and treatment programming. In 2010 she became faculty at TCNJ in the Department of Counselor Education where she teaches addiction counseling, research and statistics, measurement and evaluation and practicum/internship. During her tenure at TCNJ, she received a contract from Mercer County to direct the Intoxicated Driver Resource Center and recently developed new curriculum that is now used statewide, and a psychoeducation program for adolescents who are convicted of their first possession of cannabis charge that offers accompanying expungement upon completing. She also recently finished a study exploring how the use of Narcan to save someone’s life or have one’s own life saved affects drug use behavior change in the future. Now, she is actively working to promote harm reduction and a shift from a criminal justice to public health-based approach to drug use in New Jersey.

About Sandy Gibson, PhD, LCSW, LCADC

Professor, TCNJ
Jenna Mellor, MPA
Executive Director of the New Jersey Harm Reduction Coalition New Jersey Harm Reduction Coalition

Jenna Mellor, MPA is the Executive Director of the New Jersey Harm Reduction Coalition. Jenna has over ten years of experience at the intersection of direct service and public policy. She previously served as the Associate Director at Point Source Youth, aide to Congressman Jerrold Nadler, Outreach Manager at HIPS, and has advised the New Jersey Department of Health on harm reduction best practices. Jenna holds a BA from Harvard College and recently completed her Master's in Public Affairs at Princeton, focusing on drug and housing policies that promote public health and human dignity. She is a proud product of Atlantic County and lover of the Pine Barrens.


About Jenna Mellor, MPA

Executive Director of the New Jersey Harm Reduction Coalition New Jersey Harm Reduction Coalition