Harm reduction interview and program analysis



Students will identify a resource in their community that offers substance use treatment using a harm reduction approach. Examples of these treatment providers might be intensive outpatient programs, residential treatment centers, needle exchange programs, or any other resource you are able to identify.

  Steps to Approach This Pap

  1. Spend some time researching harm reduction programs in your area. The preference is for you to identify a program that offers substance use treatment (either exclusively or in conjunction with other services) from a harm reduction perspective. 
  2. Schedule and conduct an interview with a clinician (social worker or other type of therapist role) at the identified agency. During the interview, learn about the harm reduction approach used by the program, whether it is grounded in research or theory, and the clinician’s perspective of using this harm reduction approach.  
  3. Conduct research about the harm reduction approach you learned about in your interview. Find at least 2 research sources that give you information about the approach you learned about and its efficacy. 
  4. Critically review the program you learned about by comparing it to the findings in the research In particular, you are asking: does this community program appear to be offering practices that are supported by research? Do you think this program is offering best practices to its clientele? What is it doing well and/or what could it do better?

Paper Guidelines

  • Describe the agency you interviewed and the highlights of the interview. Make sure to describe the harm reduction approach used at the agency and the population worked with. (1 to 2 pages)
  • Describe the research you found on the approach used at the agency (approximately 2 pages) 
  • Offer your critical review of the program by answering the following questions: (a) does this community program appear to be offering practices that are supported by research? Do you think this program is offering best practices to its clientele? What it is doing well or doing better (with input from the research and your perspective)? (approximately 1 page)

Writing Guidelines

  • Please follow APA style for this paper, and it is okay to use first-person language.
    • You should use a title page, references page, and in-text citations.
    • As a reminder, in-text citations should be used for “personal communication” but this does not appear on your references page; this is an odd rule in APA style. 
  • Use at least 2 academic references in addition to your interview. These should be peer-reviewed articles or articles or articles published in a reputable publication. You will most likely find these through the library/ published in a scholarly journal. 
  • Your paper should include 5 to 6 pages of written text plus title page and references page. The professor will stop grading after 6 pages of written text, so please reserve time for editing. 
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