Harm Reduction as a Public Health Strategy for Pandemics
Featuring Maia Szalavitz (@maiasz), Award‐Winning Neuroscience Journalist; and Author of Unbroken Brain: A Revolutionary New Way of Understanding Addiction; Leana S. Wen, MD, MSc, (@DrLeanaWen) Visiting Professor of Health Policy and Management, Milken Institute School of Public Health, George Washington University; and Distinguished Fellow, Fitzhugh Mullan Institute for Health Workforce Equity; moderated by Jeffrey A. Singer, MD, Senior Fellow, Cato Institute.
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For decades, public health experts have recognized a strategy called “harm reduction” to address problems including HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases and the use of alcohol and other licit and illicit drugs.
The advent of the COVID-19 pandemic provides a new context in which to exercise the harm reduction strategy. Public health strategies must differentiate between higher‐risk and lower‐risk activities, support low‐risk activities, and seek ways to reduce overall risk. What does harm reduction for pandemics look like? Two experts on harm reduction and public health will address these issues and take questions from the audience.