The Opioid Response Project

Harm Reduction Strategies

Harm Reduction Strategies:

These resources provide links to organizations working on harm reduction in the state, as well as best practices related to harm reduction programming. Communities may use these resources to connect with organizations and to learn more about implementation of a harm reduction framework in governmental, nonprofit, or private organizations and collaboratives.


Alcohol/Drug Council of North Carolina - ADCNC is a nonprofit organization that works in prevention, interventions, and treatment for alcohol and substance use disorders. They also provide information and referrals to alcohol and drug treatment, as well as educational programs.

Appalachian Regional Commission: Substance Misuse - The ARC is a multi-state regional commission that supports various interventions to improve the lives of Appalachian communities. Their substance misuse work includes working with legislators on interventions, funding programs, offering resources, and gathering data about substance use in the region.

Collaborative for Effective Prescription Opioid Policies - CEPOP is a national organization that engages various stakeholders to create a comprehensive public policy strategy to reduce prescription opioid misuse and promote treatment options for those with chronic pain and substance use disorder.

Communicating about Opioids in Appalachia: Challenges, Opportunities, and Best Practices PDF - This guide, developed by the Appalachian Regional Commission, contains valuable data about the impact of opioids on Appalachian communities, current awareness levels, protective factors in these communities, and best practices for communicating with various subpopulations about opioids (i.e., youth, parents, or individuals with addiction).

Community Impact NC - This organization works in partnership with communities to create and implement education, prevention, and evidence-based treatment practices for substance misuse at a state level.

Confronting a Crisis: A Practical Guide for Policymakers to Mitigate the Opioid Epidemic PDF - This guide, specifically aimed towards policymakers, contains information about the status of the opioid crisis, its history and causes, and strategies to prevent and treat opioid use disorder. It also contains a toolkit for state and local government leaders to address the issue in communities.

Evidence-Based Strategies for Preventing Opioid Overdose: What’s Working in the U.S. PDF - This guide provides information on several kinds of harm reduction policies and strategies, including medication-assisted treatment, Naloxone distribution, drug screening for fentanyl, Good Samaritan Laws, and syringe services programs.

Heroin Education Action Team (HEAT): HEAT is a collaboration between the United States Attorney’s Office and community members in both eastern and western NC. Their mission is to reduce the harm caused by heroin/opiate abuse via community education programs, including addressing various groups.

Menu of Local Actions to Prevent Opioid Overdose in NC (July 2019) PDF - This guide provides an overview of various activities at the local level to create an evidence-based harm reduction coalition to address substance use disorders.

NC Council of Churches - This webpage contains helpful resources for the faith community to respond to the opioid crisis, including a compassionate framework for clergy who are counseling or ministering to those with substance use disorders.

North Carolina Harm Reduction Coalition (NCHRC) - NCHRC is a statewide grassroots organization that engages in advocacy, resource and policy development, coalition building, and direct services for those impacted by drug use, overdose, incarceration, and other issues.

North Carolina League of Municipalities (NCLM) Opioid Solutions Toolbox - This toolbox provides video resources, as well as links to other opioid-related organizations, for local government leaders to implement harm reduction practices in their communities.

North Carolina’s Opioid Action Plan (NC OAP) 2.0 (June 2019) PDF - This document offers updates to the NC Opioid Action Plan, including reporting on the plan’s progress and refocusing the plan’s work on reducing opioid overdoses and preventing the next wave of the epidemic by addressing opioid use and misuse prevention.

North Carolina Opioid and Prescription Drug Abuse Advisory Committee - This committee is a statewide, interdisciplinary group that develops and implements a strategic plan to combat the problem of prescription drug use in NC. The Opioid Action Plan guides their work with the pharmaceutical industry, prescribers, treatment providers, recovery and community groups.

NC Payers Council September 2018 report PDF - This guide provides recommendations from insurance and medical treatment payers to positively affect the opioid crisis, including increasing naloxone access, revising pain treatment and provider and patient education, and including substance use disorder treatment in healthcare settings.

North Carolina Training & Technical Assistance Center - This center, a no-cost service of the NC DHHS, provides workforce development, training, and technical assistance opportunities to substance use prevention stakeholders.

Opioid Epidemic Practical Toolkit - This toolkit provides resources for faith and community leaders aiming to bring hope and healing to communities experiencing the opioid epidemic, including concrete steps and programs they can implement in order to improve outcomes in their area.

Shatterproof - This organization is a national nonprofit that advocates for and informs communities about evidence-based prevention and treatment options. They also work toward reducing stigma about addiction and offer ATLAS platform that individuals can use to find treatment options.

USDA Rural Community Action Guide: Building Stronger, Healthy, Drug-Free Communities PDF - This guide contains valuable information about addiction, its impact on rural communities, as well as evidence-based harm reduction strategies for prevention, treatment, and recovery.

Wake County Drug Overdose Prevention Coalition - This local organization combines resources to be more effective in preventing drug overdoses, including working on education and outreach, data analytics, access to naloxone and syringe exchange, recovery initiation and maintenance, and identifying community-based treatment options with first responders.