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Young people, drugs and harm reduction

New Content Item (1)Guest Editors:

Dr. Alissa Greer, School of Criminology, Simon Fraser University, Canada

Dr. Danya Fast, Department of Medicine, University of British Columbia, Canada

Angela McBride, South African Network of People who Use Drugs, South Africa

Florian Scheibein, Youth RISE; Network of Early Career Professionals in Addiction Medicine; School of Health Sciences, Waterford Institute of Technology, Ireland

Editor-in-Chief: Prof Nick Crofts

Harm Reduction Journal

The Harm Reduction Journal is compiling research articles and commentaries to the thematic series: Young people, drugs and harm reduction.  With support from the Robert Carr Fund, Youth RISE is supporting the open access fees for a select number of accepted publications.

Submissions included a wide range of topics that relate to young people who use drugs (under 30 years of age) and harm reduction, broadly construed. Authors were encouraged to include consideration of the notion of intersectionality; that is, they should attend to the ways that age, gender, sexual orientation, class, race, ability and/or geography intersect to shape youth’s experiences of and engagements with drug use and harm reduction. Submissions which reflect non-traditional views and approaches to harm reduction were also strongly encouraged, as are submissions produced by young people who use drugs and researchers from lower- and middle-income countries. Articles should also consider best and promising practices and identified future areas for action, advocacy, and research.

This Special Series benefits from a partnership with Filter magazine. Filter will work with Youth RISE and authors to produce and publish a series of accessible articles, with a view to broadening the reach of work published in this series.

Submissions for this series are currently open

Contact the Editorial Office for more information and guidance.

Advisory Board

Ailish Brennan, Youth RISE, Germany
Alex Betsos, Canadian Students for Sensible Drug Policy; Youth RISE, Canada
At-Risk Youth Study Youth Advisory Council, Canada

Beatrix Vas, Youth RISE; Students for Sensible Drug Policy Hungary, Hungary
Carolina Ahumada, Youth RISE; Intercambios, Argentina
Cedric Nininahazwe, Y+ Global, South Africa
Dr. Damon Barrett, School of Public Health and Community Medicine Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Sweden
Dr. Emmy Kageha Igonya, African Population and Health Research Center, Kenya
Florencia Manns Fuenzalida, En Plenas Facultades, Spain
Gaj Garung, Youth LEAD, Thailand
Gloria Lai, International Drug Policy Consortium, Thailand
Humberto Rotondo, Youth RISE; Latinoamérica por una Política Sensata de Drogas, Peru
Iga Jeziorska, Youth Organisations for Drug Action, Department of Public Policy and Management, Corvinus University of Budapest, Hungary
Irena Molnar, Youth Organisations for Drug Action; Re Generation, Serbia
Ishwor Maharjan, Youth RISE, Nepal
Joana Canedo, Youth RISE; Grupo de Ativistas em Tratamentos, Portugal
Juan Fernández Ochoa, International Drug Policy Consortium, United Kingdom
Judy Chang, International Network of People who Use Drugs, United Kingdom
Lana Roux, European Network of People who Use Drugs, United Kingdom
Dr. Larissa J. Maier, University of California, San Francisco, United States
Dr. Lindsey Hines, Centre for Academic Mental Health/Integrative Epidemiology Unit, Population Health Sciences, University of Bristol, United Kingdom
Kelly Ebbert, Youth RISE; Live to Love Project, United States
Mat Southwell, European Network of People who Use Drugs, United Kingdom
Matthew Bonn, Canadian Association of People Who Use Drugs; International Network on Health and Hepatitis in Substance Users, Canada
MJ Stowe, Department of Family Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Pretoria, South Africa; Youth RISE; South African Network of People who Use Drugs, South Africa
Nick Kent, Students for Sensible Drug Policy Australia, Australia
Oluseyi Kehinde, Youth RISE Nigeria, Nigeria
Orsi Feher, Students for Sensible Drug Policy International, Austria
Dr. Paolo Grandinetti, Network of Early Career Professionals in Addiction Medicine; ASL Teramo, Italy
Penelope Hill, University of New South Wales, Australia
Rhana Hashemi, Center for Political Drug Education, United States
Róisín Downes, Students for Sensible Drug Policy International, Austria
Ruby Lawlor, Youth RISE, Uganda
Sangeet Kayashta, YPEER Asia Pacific Centre, Thailand
Dr. Sidharth Arya, Network of Early Career Professionals in Addiction Medicine; Pt Bhagwat Dayal Sharma University of Health Sciences, India
Will Godfrey, Filter, United States
Wiqas Ahmad, Initiative for Youth and Sustainable Development, Pakistan
Zara Snapp, Instituto RIA, AC; Latin American Network of People who Use Drugs, Mexico


New Content Item (1)This series is supported through a grant from



  1. The opioid epidemic has had a devastating impact on youth from American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) Tribes and Villages, which also experience disparate suicide rates. The use of publicly available social...

    Authors: Alec J. Calac, Tiana McMann, Mingxiang Cai, Jiawei Li, Raphael Cuomo and Tim K. Mackey
    Citation: Harm Reduction Journal 2022 19:141
  2. The meaningful inclusion of young people who use or have used drugs is a fundamental aspect of harm reduction, including in program design, research, service provision, and advocacy efforts. However, there are...

    Authors: M-J Stowe, Orsi Feher, Beatrix Vas, Sangeet Kayastha and Alissa Greer
    Citation: Harm Reduction Journal 2022 19:83
  3. Vancouver, Canada, and Lisbon, Portugal, are both celebrated for their world-leading harm reduction policies and programs and regarded as models for other cities contending with the effects of increasing level...

    Authors: Joana Canêdo, Kali-olt Sedgemore, Kelly Ebbert, Haleigh Anderson, Rainbow Dykeman, Katey Kincaid, Claudia Dias, Diana Silva, Reith Charlesworth, Rod Knight and Danya Fast
    Citation: Harm Reduction Journal 2022 19:43
  4. Adolescence and young adulthood is an important period for substance use initiation and related harms. In the context of the ongoing opioid crisis, the risks for youth (ages 16–29) who use opioids are particul...

    Authors: Kirsten Marchand, Oonagh Fogarty, Katrina Marie Pellatt, Kayly Vig, Jordan Melnychuk, Christina Katan, Faria Khan, Roxanne Turuba, Linda Kongnetiman, Corinne Tallon, Jill Fairbank, Steve Mathias and Skye Barbic
    Citation: Harm Reduction Journal 2022 19:37
  5. Community-based participatory research (CBPR) is increasingly standard practice for critical qualitative health research with young people who use(d) drugs in Vancouver, Canada. One aim of CBPR in this context...

    Authors: Madison Thulien, Haleigh Anderson, Shane Douglas, Rainbow Dykeman, Amanda Horne, Ben Howard, Kali Sedgemore, Reith Charlesworth and Danya Fast
    Citation: Harm Reduction Journal 2022 19:30
  6. Access for legal minors to needle and syringe programmes raises a number of practical, legal and ethical challenges that traverse clinical practice, child protection and child rights. This article addresses th...

    Authors: Damon Barrett, Frida Petersson and Russell Turner
    Citation: Harm Reduction Journal 2022 19:15

    The Correction to this article has been published in Harm Reduction Journal 2023 20:6