Community Rounds
April 28, 2021

Understanding the Harm Reduction Approach: Principles and Practice

Theresa Vezina

Our speaker is Theresa Vezina, Executive Director of Vermont CARES. Harm reduction is a set of practical strategies and ideas aimed at reducing negative consequences associated with drug use. This presentation outlines history, principles, and practices of harm reduction to reduce stigma and harm related to substance use. Emphasis is placed on understanding harm reduction in a syringe service program environment, the clinical setting, and in rural communities.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Identify the historical, philosophical, and practical foundations of harm reduction
  2. Discuss stigma and bias related to harm reduction interventions
  3. Describe efficacy of Syringe Service Programs (SSPs) and other common harm reduction interventions
  4. Discuss strategies for integrating harm reduction principles and practices into clinical care settings
  5. Identify obstacles, advantages, and innovative techniques for practicing harm reduction in rural communities


Theresa Vezina

Theresa Vezina

Theresa Vezina is the Executive Director of Vermont CARES. This organization provides service coordination, emergency financial assistance, housing assistance, harm reduction services, prevention services, wellness programs and social events.