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Addiction – Substance Use Disorders

5. Harm Reduction Approaches

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About this Lecture


In this lecture, we think about how harm reduction policies can be used to minimise the negative impacts of drug use, focusing in particular on: (i) the nature of traditional drug and alcohol treatments to subscribe to abstinence models; (ii) harm reduction programs as places without judgement, coercion, discrimination, or a requirement to completely cease use of that substance; (iii) the three goals of harm reduction being to keep drug users alive and encourage positive change, to reduce harm created by drug policies, and to offer alternative approaches; (iv) examples of harm reduction policies, including needle exchanges, drug testing services and supervised consumption sites; (v) the variety of benefits that harm reduction policies bring for both drug users and other members of the community.


In this course, Dr Lauren Burgeno (University of Oxford) explores substance use disorders. In the first lecture, we think about drug addiction, a commonly used term which refers to a substance use disorder, and how it is studied. In the second lecture, we think about the biological underpinnings of addiction. In the third lecture, we think about factors which contribute to someone’s susceptibility to addiction after engaging in substance use. Next, we think about some pharmacological and non-pharmacological strategies implemented to treat drug addiction. In the fifth and final lecture, we think about how harm reduction policies can be used to help alleviate the suffering of individuals with substance use disorders and improve their communities.


Dr Lauren Burgeno is a National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics at the University of Oxford. Dr Burgeno’s research interests are in the mechanisms by which striatal acetylcholine gates cue-elicited dopamine release and how this contributes to addiction related behaviour. Some of Dr Burgeno’s recent publications include 'Time-dependent assessment of stimulus-evoked regional dopamine release' (2019) and 'Genetic isolation of hypothalamic neurons that regulate context-specific male social behaviour' (2016).

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Burgeno, L. (2022, May 25). Addiction – Substance Use Disorders - Harm Reduction Approaches [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Burgeno, L. "Addiction – Substance Use Disorders – Harm Reduction Approaches." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 25 May 2022,

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