"Harm-reduction services for problematic drug users usually address the associated harms and risk behaviours, such as injecting, with a holistic approach that focuses on the nature and severity of the behaviours and problems experienced by the individual, rather than on a specific substance. Therefore, in response to the elevated health risks associated with problem drug use, including polydrug use, harm-reduction services are generally provided on a case-by-case basis and often according to professionals’ own work experience. Furthermore, harm-reduction interventions usually operate within a broader local prevention strategy that combines other types of services such as outreach work and opioid substitution treatment, which contribute to the reduction of risks and health problems experienced by problem polydrug users. Evidence of the effectiveness of harm-reduction interventions has been reported in other EMCDDA publications (EMCDDA, 2008a) and will be reviewed in a forthcoming monograph on harm reduction."


European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction, "Polydrug Use: Patterns and Responses" (Lisboa, Portugal: 2009), p. 25.