Center for Harm Reduction Services

The Maryland Department of Health's Center for Harm Reduction Services was established in 2019 to centralize harm reduction activities across the Department. The Center is housed with the Infectious Disease Prevention and Health Services Bureau in the Prevention and Health Promotion Administration. The Center oversees the Overdose Response Program, Syringe Services Program, naloxone distribution, harm reduction grants, and various workforce development, training, and technical assistance activities. Information about each of the Center's areas of work is linked below. 

The Center's strategic goal is to reduce substance-related morbidity and mortality by optimizing services for people who use drugs. ​The Center for Harm Reduction Services envisions a Maryland where: 

  • Health care and social service systems meet the needs of people who use drugs in a comprehensive, community-based manner;

  • People who use drugs have equitable access to high-quality care; and

  • Services provided to people who use drugs are free from stigma and discrimination.



COVID-19 and Harm Reduction Information and Resources



The Center for Harm Reduction Services administers the Overdose Response Program, which provides the means for training bystanders to administer naloxone in the event of an opioid overdose. MDH authorizes local entities as Overdose Response Programs, allowing them to provide overdose education and dispense naloxone through partnerships with prescribers. 


  

The Center for Harm Reduction administers the Maryland Syringe Services Program, reviewing new applications, managing program reporting, issuing program guidance, and providing TA and support to approved programs. The Center for Harm Reduction Services also holds quarterly meetings of the Standing Advisory Committee on Opioid-Associated Disease Prevention and Outreach. These meetings are open to the public. 


ACCESS is the Center's centralized platform for harm reduction resources for local health departments and community-based organizations. Resources are provided through ACCESS with the goal of reducing substance-related morbidity and mortality by optimizing services for people who use drugs. ACCESS stands for "​Advancing Cross-Cutting Engagement and Service Strategies for People Who Use Drugs." Please contact mdh.access@maryland.gov with any questions. 


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The Maryland Department of Health, Center for Harm Reduction Services partners with the Maryland Harm Reduction Training Institute (MaHRTI) to build the capacity of Maryland's harm reduction workforce to provide optimal services to people who use drugs. For more information visit www.bhsbaltimore.org/mahrti​ or contact mahrti@bhsbaltimore.org. The Center also provides other workforce development and training, including the Regrounding Our Response initiative and Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion training. 



​Additional Resources