Stimulant Use: Harm Reduction, Treatment, and Future Directions

Conference Report

Although opioids are currently dominating the headlines, stimulant drugs like cocaine and methamphetamine never went away. In fact, more Americans use illegal stimulant drugs than all opioids combined, and recent data suggests they’re significantly contributing to our skyrocketing drug overdose deaths. 

In September 2017, the Drug Policy Alliance held a groundbreaking convening, "Stimulant Use: Harm Reduction, Treatment, and Future Directions," with social service providers, researchers, policymakers, the LGBT community, and people who use stimulants.  Over the course of the day, more than 20 scholars, activists, service providers, and people who use stimulants spoke before an audience of almost 200 people. Drawing on their expertise, this report examines the following questions:

  • What are stimulants and who uses them?
  • Why do people use stimulants?
  • What are some special considerations for subpopulations who use stimulants?
  • What are the risks associated with using stimulants?
  • What harm reduction interventions are effective at reducing the risks of stimulant use?
  • What treatment modalities show promise in addressing stimulant use disorders?\
  • What challenges must be addressed to improve care for people who use stimulants?

The report also includes recommendations for researchers, policymakers, and harm reduction, social service, medical, and treatment providers.

Office of Academic Engagement
Harm Reduction