UW–Madison joins national harm reduction research network to prevent overdose deaths

Ryan Westergaard

Ryan Westergaard

Harm reduction is an evidence-based, often life-saving approach that directly engages people who use drugs to prevent overdose, disease transmission and other harms.

Dr. Ryan Westergaard, professor of medicine, UW School of Medicine and Public Health, will lead a team of researchers who will test the effectiveness of remote intervention tools such as overdose prevention hotlines and support via secure smartphone applications designed to improve access to harm reduction services for underserved people, enrolling participants in both urban and rural regions of Wisconsin.

“Harm reduction services are widely viewed as life-saving,” Westergaard said. “There are important unanswered questions about how they can best be implemented, and whether novel and emerging strategies are feasible and acceptable to the diverse communities affected by drug addiction in the United States.”

Read the full story from UW SMPH