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Harm Reduction Journal 15th anniversary

Launched in 2004 under the editorship of Prof Ernest Drucker, Harm Reduction Journal has been at the forefront of publishing high quality peer-reviewed research on the harm reduction approach to drugs and addiction.

Today, with an expanded focus including alcohol, tobacco and gambling harm reduction, the journal is the highest ranked open access publication in its Journal Citation Reports category. 

In this special retrospective collection, Editor-in-Chief Nick Crofts presents a history of journal milestones, quotations from friends in the field, and articles showcasing some of the editorial board's favorite research from years past, as well as some important recent work.

Our Journey

New Content Item 

Harm Reduction Journal continues to play a vital role through its dedication to disseminating quality research focused on harm reduction policy and practice internationally. Given the preventable ongoing harms experienced by people who use drugs, we need HRJ!”


Thomas Kerr, PhD
Professor, Dept. of Medicine, University of British Columbia
Associate Director & Director of Research, BC Centre on Substance Use

“Happy Anniversary! What an achievement! I think the journal continues to offer a critical outlet for researchers, policymakers and people who use drugs to provide evidence-based research and experience to inform appropriate responses to substance use and associated health outcomes.”


Steffanie Strathdee, PhD
Associate Dean of Global Health Sciences, Harold Simon Professor, UCSD Department of Medicine
Co-Director, Center for Innovative Phage Applications and Therapeutics 


Our anniversary collection

  1. Individuals experience differential risks in their initiation into drug injecting based on their gender. Data suggest women are more likely to be injected after their initiator and to share injection equipment...

    Authors: Stephanie A. Meyers, Ayden Scheim, Sonia Jain, Xiaoying Sun, M. J. Milloy, Kora DeBeck, Kanna Hayashi, Richard S. Garfein and Dan Werb

    Citation: Harm Reduction Journal 2018 15:59

    Content type: Brief report

    Published on:

  2. In Baltimore, MD, as in many cities throughout the USA, overdose rates are on the rise due to both the increase of prescription opioid abuse and that of fentanyl and other synthetic opioids in the drug market....

    Authors: Amos Irwin, Ehsan Jozaghi, Brian W. Weir, Sean T. Allen, Andrew Lindsay and Susan G. Sherman

    Citation: Harm Reduction Journal 2017 14:29

    Content type: Research

    Published on:

  3. Harmful gambling is a public health issue that affects not only adults but also children. With the development of a range of new gambling products, and the marketing for these products, children are potentiall...

    Authors: Hannah Pitt, Samantha L. Thomas, Amy Bestman, Mike Daube and Jeffrey Derevensky

    Citation: Harm Reduction Journal 2017 14:11

    Content type: Research

    Published on:

  4. Managed alcohol programs (MAPs) are a harm reduction strategy for people with severe alcohol dependence and unstable housing. MAPs provide controlled access to alcohol usually alongside accommodation, meals, a...

    Authors: Kate Vallance, Tim Stockwell, Bernie Pauly, Clifton Chow, Erin Gray, Bonnie Krysowaty, Kathleen Perkin and Jinhui Zhao

    Citation: Harm Reduction Journal 2016 13:13

    Content type: Research

    Published on:

  5. Recent exposes of drug use in sports suggest that doping might be more problematic than doping-control test results reveal. A zero-tolerance (ZT) model, which aims to eliminate the use, has dominated the think...

    Authors: Aaron C. T. Smith and Bob Stewart

    Citation: Harm Reduction Journal 2015 12:53

    Content type: Commentary

    Published on:

  6. An association between leukoencephalopathy, a disease of the white matter of the brain, and smoking heroin is well recognized. This paper describes 27 cases of leukoencephalopathy identified in two cities in B...

    Authors: Jane A Buxton, Renee Sebastian, Lorne Clearsky, Natalie Angus, Lena Shah, Marcus Lem and Sian D Spacey

    Citation: Harm Reduction Journal 2011 8:3

    Content type: Research

    Published on:

  7. Unsafe injection practices are prevalent among injection drug users (IDU) and have resulted in numerous forms of drug-related harm including HIV/HCV transmission and other bacterial and viral infections. North...

    Authors: Danya Fast, Will Small, Evan Wood and Thomas Kerr

    Citation: Harm Reduction Journal 2008 5:32

    Content type: Research

    Published on:

  8. Cannabis (marijuana) had been used for medicinal purposes for millennia. Cannabinoid agonists are now attracting growing interest and there is also evidence that botanical cannabis is being used as self-medica...

    Authors: Thomas J O'Connell and Ché B Bou-Matar

    Citation: Harm Reduction Journal 2007 4:16

    Content type: Research

    Published on:

Harm Reduction Journal in Porto

Harm Reduction Journal is proud to be affiliated with Harm Reduction International, who will be hosting harm reduction researchers and advocates from all over the world at their conference, which this year takes place in Porto, Portugal. 

HR19 will be a unique opportunity to learn first-hand about the public health and rights advances made under Portugal’s ground breaking model that decriminalised drug use in 2001. The conference theme, ‘People before Politics,’ will underpin all HR19 activities and highlight the importance of putting public health and people’s lives before political ideology.

Editors from Harm Reduction Journal will be present at HR19, taking place in Porto from 28th April - 1st May 2019.