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The Perfect and the Good: Engaging People Around Harm Reduction and Non-Abstinence Based Goals

Scott Walters, PhD, will present on harm reduction approaches for opioid use disorder (OUD) that aim to reduce the negative consequences associated with opioid use without requiring immediate abstinence. They prioritize the well-being and safety of individuals with OUD, recognizing the challenges they face in achieving complete sobriety. When considering different harm reduction strategies, collaboration with the individual is essential to identify the most suitable approach. While harm reduction aims to be inclusive, certain factors such as risk level, co-occurring conditions, environment, and client goals and preferences may influence the appropriateness and effectiveness of specific interventions. This presentation will review the current literature on harm reduction, discuss factors affecting strategy suitability and effectiveness, and demonstrate how to use motivational interviewing to engage and motivate clients in adopting strategies to minimize drug use risks. By actively involving individuals in harm reduction, providers can optimize benefits and support the well-being of people with OUD.


  • Recognize and describe the advantages and potential drawbacks of key harm reduction strategies used in the context of OUD.
  • Identify and explain client-specific factors that can impact the appropriateness and effectiveness of harm reduction strategies for individuals with OUD.
  • Describe how motivational interviewing can be used to engage clients, explore motivation and concerns, and facilitate willingness to adopt harm reduction strategies that minimize risk.


Scott’s research at the University of North Texas Health Science Center School of Public Health focuses on developing better ways of helping people change. He also serves as the Steering Committee Chair for the HEALing Communities Study, which is developing a national model to address the opioid crisis



Starts: Jun. 20, 2023 12:00 pm
Ends: Jun. 20, 2023 1:30 pm
Registration Deadline
June 20, 2023
Event Type
Webinar/Virtual Training
Hosted by
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