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Situating Harm Reduction Along the Continuum of Care for People with Substance Use Disorder
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Harm reduction has emerged as a response to the unprecedented drug crisis, seeking to reduce—but not eliminate—the inherent harms of drug use. Ranging from interventions like Narcan and the distribution of sterile syringes to emerging responses, such as so-called safe injection sites, efforts to implement certain harm reduction programs have faced widespread scrutiny and opposition from the general public and policymakers. While certain harm reduction programs have the potential to reduce some of the harms of drug use (e.g., the spread of HIV), the broader addiction field must remain focused on connecting people with substance use disorder to treatment and helping them achieve recovery. Recognizing that harm reduction is not a long-term solution to the drug crisis, these programs should be viewed as one avenue toward connecting people to treatment and recovery services.
Learning Objectives
At the conclusion of this presentation, participants should be able to: 
  • Describe the aspects of harm reduction programs, including their strengths and limitations
  • Explain how harm reduction interventions fit into the broader continuum of care for people with substance use disorder
  • Evaluate the policy landscape as it relates to harm reduction, recognizing that state and federal laws are often incongruent on these matters
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Credit Statement
This webinar has been approved for a maximum 1, AOA Category 1-A CME credits. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation. This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the accreditation requirements and policies of the American Osteopathic Association (AOA) and AOAAM. The AOAAM is accredited by the AOA to provide continuing medical education for physicians.
Kevin Sabet, PhD 

An affiliate of Yale University’s Institution for Social and Policy Studies and the Medical School, dubbed by NBC News as the “prodigy of drug politics,” author, consultant, and the only bipartisan drug policy advisor to three U.S. presidential administrations, Kevin A. Sabet, Ph.D., has studied, researched, written about, and implemented drug policy for more than 25 years. He is currently the President and CEO of both The Foundation for Drug Policy Solutions (FDPS) and SAM (Smart Approaches to Marijuana), two non-profit organizations he founded with Congressman Patrick Kennedy. His first book, Reefer Sanity: Seven Great Myths About Marijuana, was published by Beaufort (Midpoint) in 2013, and its second edition released in 2018. His bestselling book, Smokescreen: What the Marijuana Industry Doesn’t Want You to Know, was distributed by Simon & Schuster in 2021 and released to critical acclaim, winning the Next Generation Indie Book Award in the Social Justice Category.
Smokescreen has been optioned for a documentary film by a Hollywood studio for release in 2024 or 2025. His upcoming book, One Nation Under the Influence, will be published by Polity in 2025.
Dr. Sabet’s work as a government advisor began in the Clinton Administration as a researcher, and he was the senior speechwriter on drug policy in the Bush Administration (2002-2003). He returned to government in 2009, where he was asked to assist in drafting President Obama’s National Drug Control Strategy as a senior advisor. In 2011, he stepped down after being the only drug policy staffer to have served as a political appointee in a Democrat and Republican administration.
He has since been profiled in Politico, Crain's Business, Salon Magazine, the International Business Times, The Daily Beast, Vox, and many other publications as America's point person on drug policy issues. He has spoken at the Allen and Co. Sun Valley Conference, the Aspen Ideas, New Yorker, and Politicon festivals, at the Puebla Ideas Conference to debate the former presidents of Mexico and Colombia, on the Organization of American States blue ribbon commission advising hemispheric drug policy, and in hundreds of forums and discussions. He has been featured on the front page of the New York Times and in virtually every major media publication and news channel on the subject of drug policy. He has published op-eds in the Washington Post, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and dozens of other publications. Dr. Sabet’s regular blog is housed at the Huffington Post and two of his op- eds have earned him a “Five Best Columns” distinction by The Atlantic.
Dr. Sabet also regularly advises foreign governments, several non-governmental organizations working to reduce drug abuse and its consequences, and serves in an international role as an advisor, in various capacities, to the United Nations and other multi-national organizations.
He is the winner of numerous drug policy awards, including the 2014 Nils Bejerot Award for Global Drug Prevention, given at Stockholm City Hall by the anti-drug organization chaired by H.M. Queen Silvia of Sweden, the 2019 National Narcotics Lifetime Achievement Award, and the John P. McGovern Award for Drug Prevention given by the Institute for Behavior and Health, and Robert DuPont, the founding director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
He received his Doctorate of Philosophy and Masters of Science from Oxford University as a Marshall Scholar in 2007 and 2002, respectively, and his B.A. with high honors in Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley, in 2001.
Availability: On-Demand
Expires on Jun 01, 2027
Cost: Member: $0.00
Non-Member: $35.00
Resident/Intern Member: $0.00
Student Member: $0.00
Credit Offered:
1 AOA Category 1A Credit
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