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The state of harm reduction in Europe, 2020

Call for Papers

New Content Item (1)Guest Editors: Katrin Schiffer, Eberhard Schatz, Ganna Dovbakh
Editor-in-Chief: Prof Nick Crofts Harm Reduction Journal

The Harm Reduction Journal invites you to submit research reports on any aspect of harm reduction to the new thematic series: The state of harm reduction in Europe, 2020, to be launched at the 5th European Harm Reduction Conference in Prague, 4-6 November, 2020.

Harm reduction in Europe is confronted with new developments and challenges. The provision of HR services is inadequate in many countries, especially in the eastern part and the situation is deteriorating in countries with traditionally good coverage. Combating viral hepatitis remains one of the health priorities for PWIDs, requiring the involvement of HR services in the cascade of care. The number of overdose deaths continues to grow. Drug use and drug use patterns have changed: the use of cocaine, stimulants and synthetic drugs is increasing. HR services need to extend the focus on different groups: marginalized and recreational drug users, aging drug users, homeless people and develop services accordingly.

This thematic series in Harm Reduction Journal seeks to examine where harm reduction is as philosophy, policy and practice in 2020 in the broader European regions. We invite you to consider submitting your paper(s) reporting on any aspect of harm reduction in the European regions – Western and Eastern – for consideration for publication in this thematic series. We are particularly keen to publish research findings that illustrate the current situation, but are also looking to address the full picture with review and policy articles, commentaries and histories.

As well as HRJ’s traditional focus on substance use, blood-borne infections and other harms and their reduction, HRJ now has sections on harm reduction in a wide range of other areas, including sex work, drugs and the internet, human enhancement drugs, tobacco, alcohol, and incarceration. We welcome articles addressing aspects of harm reduction in relation to these areas as well.

All articles in this series will undergo the journal’s full standard peer review process. Manuscripts should be formatted according to Harm Reduction Journal submission guidelines and may be submitted through Editorial Manager (

In the submission system please make sure the correct collection title is chosen from the “additional information” tab. Please also indicate in the covering letter that the manuscript is to be considered for “The state of harm reduction in Europe, 2020” thematic series. For further information, please contact the Editors.

New Content Item (1)

  1. People who inject drugs are often imprisoned, which is associated with increased levels of health risks including overdose and infectious diseases transmission, affecting not only people in prison but also the...

    Authors: Heino Stöver, Anna Tarján, Gergely Horváth and Linda Montanari
    Citation: Harm Reduction Journal 2021 18:67
  2. The use of psychoactive substances frequently starts at a younger age than adulthood. Considering the perspective of young people, this retrospective study tried to provide them with a role in identifying thei...

    Authors: Gabriela Almeida Pinto da Silva, Catarina Pinto Pereira and Marta Sofia de Sousa Pinto
    Citation: Harm Reduction Journal 2021 18:34
  3. Prisoners report much higher prevalence rates of drug use and more harmful consumption patterns than the general population. People who use drugs have above-average experiences with the criminal justice system...

    Authors: Daniela Jamin, Wouter Vanderplasschen, Orphée Sys, Marie Jauffret-Roustide, Laurent Michel, Philippe Trouiller, Andreia Neisa, Mariana Homen, Vânia Mendes and Heino Stöver
    Citation: Harm Reduction Journal 2021 18:32
  4. In preparation for the 2021 revision of the European Union Tobacco Products Directive, the Scientific Committee on Health, Environmental and Emerging Risks (SCHEER) has posted its Preliminary Opinion on Electroni...

    Authors: Renée O’Leary, Riccardo Polosa and Giovanni Li Volti
    Citation: Harm Reduction Journal 2021 18:31
  5. Condom provision is one of the most effective harm reduction interventions to control sexually transmitted infections (STIs) including HIV/AIDS and viral hepatitis in prisons. Yet, very few countries around th...

    Authors: Babak Moazen, Joy Mauti, Paula Meireles, Tereza Černíková, Florian Neuhann, Albrecht Jahn and Heino Stöver
    Citation: Harm Reduction Journal 2021 18:14
  6. Four emergency shelters were instituted in Lisbon during COVID-19, and are still in operation. Between March and August 2020, they served over 600 people. The shelters host a diverse population, including peo...

    Authors: Ricardo Fuertes, Elsa Belo, Cristiana Merendeiro, Adriana Curado, Diana Gautier, Ana Neto and Hannah Taylor
    Citation: Harm Reduction Journal 2021 18:13
  7. In 2007, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended for prison authorities to introduce prison needle and syringe programs (PNSP) if they have any evidence that injecting drug use is taking place in priso...

    Authors: Alexandra Dmitrieva, Vladimir Stepanov, Kateryna Svyrydova, Ievgeniia-Galyna Lukash, Svetlana Doltu, Mikhail Golichenko, Valeriy Kalivoshko, Evgeniy Khanyukov, Zhannat Kosmukhamedova, Oleh Torkunov and Oleksii Zagrebelnyi
    Citation: Harm Reduction Journal 2021 18:10
  8. Civil society organisations (CSOs) play a vital role in developing and implementing effective measures to reduce the harms of drug use. They are also fundamental actors to monitor and evaluate programmes and p...

    Authors: Rafaela Rigoni, Tuukka Tammi, Daan van der Gouwe and Eberhard Schatz
    Citation: Harm Reduction Journal 2021 18:3
  9. The Netherlands is well known for its early adoption of harm reduction (HR) programs at the height of its heroin crisis in the 1970s/1980s, including the implementation of the first needle and syringe program ...

    Authors: Daniela K. van Santen, Roel A. Coutinho, Anneke van den Hoek, Giel van Brussel, Marcel Buster and Maria Prins
    Citation: Harm Reduction Journal 2021 18:2
  10. Harm reduction services to people who use drugs (PWUD) in Russia are insufficient in terms of quantity, government endorsement, and accessibility. The situation has recently deteriorated even further because o...

    Authors: Arsen Davitadze, Peter Meylakhs, Aleksey Lakhov and Elizabeth J. King
    Citation: Harm Reduction Journal 2020 17:98
  11. Drug-related deaths in the UK are at the highest level on record—the war on drugs has failed. A short film has been produced intended for public and professional audiences featuring academics, representatives ...

    Authors: Adam Holland
    Citation: Harm Reduction Journal 2020 17:97
  12. This study examines the use of new psychoactive substances (NPS) and the harm reduction response in six Eurasian countries: Belarus, Moldova, Serbia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Georgia. The aim is to identify...

    Authors: Eliza Kurcevič and Rick Lines
    Citation: Harm Reduction Journal 2020 17:94
  13. People who inject drugs (PWID) account for the majority of new cases of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection in Europe; however, HCV testing, and treatment for PWID remain suboptimal. With the advent of direct ac...

    Authors: M. Maticic, Z. Pirnat, A. Leicht, R. Zimmermann, T. Windelinck, M. Jauffret-Roustide, E. Duffell, T. Tammi and E. Schatz
    Citation: Harm Reduction Journal 2020 17:89
  14. The harm reduction (HR) approach to injecting drug use was rapidly adopted in Central Europe following the fall of the Iron Curtain. The associated social and economic transformation had significant consequenc...

    Authors: Michal Miovský, Silvia Miklíková, Viktor Mravčík, Jean-Paul Grund and Tereza Černíková
    Citation: Harm Reduction Journal 2020 17:83
  15. The article discusses and analyzes the changes that have taken place since 2016 in Israeli policy with regard to the treatment, diagnosis and detection of hepatitis C (HCV) in prison settings. The article find...

    Authors: Niv Michaeli, Anat Litvin and Nadav Davidovitch
    Citation: Harm Reduction Journal 2020 17:79
  16. There are an estimated 3.2 million women who inject drugs worldwide, constituting 20% of all people who inject drugs. The limited data that are available suggest that women who inject drugs are at greater risk...

    Authors: Sam Shirley-Beavan, Aura Roig, Naomi Burke-Shyne, Colleen Daniels and Robert Csak
    Citation: Harm Reduction Journal 2020 17:78