Manager of Drug User Health
The Heart of Harm Reduction: Exploring Intersections Between Recovery & Harm Reduction
Harm reduction. Whether you're familiar with it, skeptical of it, or curious about it, this session is for you. During this presentation we will explore the basics principles and practices of harm reduction, as well as start a conversation about why it's important in recovery circles. Through an interactive presentation, open conversation, and informal discussion, we'll work through topics like overcoming stigma and bias, how to utilize harm reduction as a provider, and why harm reduction is a critical piece in the fight to end overdose deaths. This presentation is appropriate for everyone, but especially for people who work in direct service positions such as clinicians, peer recovery coaches, healthcare workers, and criminal justice professionals.
Originally from Michigan, Corri Mercy (they/them/she) currently lives in Colorado Springs, Colorado, with their partner, two dogs, and two cats, and can often be found with a paintbrush in hand, testing out a new recipe, or lost in a good book. Corri began working in mental health and substance use disorder treatment at the age of 18, and discovered a love for supporting people during difficult phases of their lives. Four years ago, they felt a pull away from the treatment world, and more toward harm reduction and public health. Following the pull, they began working with a Colorado nonprofit and spearheaded opening the first and only free harm reduction initiative in her city, which provided free and accessible Narcan, fentanyl test strips, and other important supplies to community members. After several years of direct service work, Corri made the transition into working for a national nonprofit, NASTAD, and now provides technical assistance and consulting to organizations who are opening their own harm reduction programs. They also provide assistance for treatment providers, health departments, and anyone else who requests it. Corri has a deep passion for community education and advocacy as well as the belief that all people are worthy of respect, dignity, and radical kindness, all of which was born out of their own lived experience.