UK Harm Reduction Alliance - UKHRA. What is harm reduction? Click here...


The United Kingdom Harm Reduction Alliance UKHRA is a campaigning coalition of drug users, health and social care workers, criminal justice workers and educationalists that aims to put public health and human rights at the centre of drug treatment and service provision for drug users.

UKHRA supports International Overdose Day

For more information go to

A number of prominent organisations, leading academics and parliamentarians have written to the Coalition Government to highlight their concerns about a new Home Office document: “Putting Full Recovery First: A Recovery Roadmap”. This document launched on 13 March 2012 would see services receiving full payment only if people are in ‘full recovery’, which, according to the document, excludes those on substitution medications such as methadone. Opioid substitution therapy has proven to reduce heroin use, treat opiate dependence, and reduce deaths from overdose. It is one of the core interventions for HIV prevention relating to injecting drug use.

The letter and statement, sent on 24 April 2012, has been supported by UKHRA and other organisations working in drug treatment and harm reduction, as well as the UK Recovery Federation.
A  survey carried out by UKHRA, UKRF and NUN ask those working in drug treatment and those who use drugs for their view of the Government document, a summary of the results can be accessed here.

consensus statement defining best practice in needle exchange Consensus statement defining best practice in reducing injecting related harm, click here

To see the joint UKHRA/NNEF response to the Coalition's drug strategy
click here

We are a campaigning network spread across the UK, as well as promoting harm reduction and evidence based drug policy by writing policy proposals and responses to government consultations. We also have several active email discussion lists. If you are interested in harm reduction, we would encourage you to join one or more of our lists.


E-mail discussion lists
UKHRA has set up a number of email discussion groups to help inform and improve networking and the development of good practice in the field. For an introduction to how they work - written for UKHRA Discussion, but which applies to all lists - click here.

For help joining the groups click here.

The UKHRA email lists are:

UKHRA Announce
An occasional list with important announcements only. Very low traffic.

To join UKHRA announce please click here


UKHRA Discussion
An active group with lots of members discussing harm reduction policy and practice. Questions answered, and opinions tested and an archive of over 15,000 emails available to members.

To join the UKHRA discussion list please read the guidelines for members, then click here


UKHRA Needle Exchange
An active group of drug workers, injectors, policy makers and researchers discussing policy and practice relating to needle and syringe exchange.

To join UKHRA needle-exchange please click here


UKHRA Women is a dedicated discussion forum for women who: use; are interested in; or, affected by drugs and their related issues - in particular within the arena of harm reduction. Open to women across the UK, the forum provides the opportunity for women to network, raise topics for discussion and share ideas and information and, seeks to maintain a supportive and welcoming environment for all its members.

In order to ensure women only membership, there is a straightforward joining procedure we ask new members to follow. In order to join, a personal recommendation from an existing UKHRA member is required. The referee need only contact the group moderator with the relevant details of the nominated person, including an email address and telephone number( if possible).If you are already a member of UKHRA-Women and wish to nominate someone, please send the relevant details to the group moderator who will then invite the person to join the group.

UKHRA Women encourages all women who share a common interest in harm reduction to become members. If you would like to join but don’t know anyone on the list who can refer you, please contact the moderator by e-mailing or calling 0797 907 8989.

Note: This is not a forum for airing negative or judgemental views about drug use and/or women. The site has a moderator and code of conduct that members are obliged to observe.

To join UKHRA Women please click here


UKHRA Young People and Drugs
A growing list of workers with an interest in working with young people who use drugs. A place for discussion of practical and policy issues.

To join UKHRA young people and drugs please click here


ukhra-users is a mailing list aimed at users and ex-users who are concerned about the state of drug treatment in the UK and wish to become involved in the process of improving that treatment.

Although some list members may be interested in wider social and political issues, things like legalization and cannabis are *not* what this group is about. Those issues have other lists, so if you want to talk about those things, join those lists.

Who can join ukhra-users?
This is a closed mailing list, and prospective members have to be approved. Although primarily aimed at users and ex-users, the list will also accept membership from professionals who have a personal or professional interest in the issue of user-involvement, and they have to be nominated by a user or ex-user in order to join. List members who are users can veto the membership of a professional if they regard that person as a threat or if they have evidence that their behavior and/or actions are consistent with those of drug users. If this happens, the issue will be put to a vote of all members and majority decision will apply.

However we aren't seeking to be overly prescriptive about this. If there are any professionals reading this who would like to subscribe but don't know any users with net access, feel free to email the list coordinator, to do this, click here.

However, be warned that we aren't letting you on board for the entertainment value. We'll expect you to work for your access in the form of support, using your skills and experience, etc. etc.

History of ukhra-users and UKUsers
UKUsers was a mailing list that was established several years ago by the National Drug User Development Agency in order to bring all of the UK user activists together in one place. Unlike ukhra-users, UKUsers was intended to be a broad church, embracing cannabis and dance drugs activists as well as people who have experienced problems with their drug use.

The National Drug Users Development Agency abandoned their involvement with UKUsers during 2002, until the formation of ukhra users the UKUsers list was run by UKHRA committee members Alan Joyce as an independent entity. However, Alan's workload is now such that maintaining that list has become an onerous responsibility, and so we are seeking to bring those user/activists who are subscribed to that list under the ambit of the UK Harm Reduction Alliance.

How do I subscribe?
You can either go to, or you can send an email to

UKHRA was established with funding from the Tides Foundation.


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