Background: Recovery from substance use disorder (SUD) is often considered at odds with harm reduction strategies. More recently, harm reduction has been categorized as both a pathway to recovery and a series of services to reduce the harmful consequences of substance use. Peer recovery support services (PRSS) are effective in improving SUD outcomes, as well as improving the engagement and effectiveness of harm reduction programs. Methods: This study provides an initial evaluation of a hybrid recovery community organization providing PRSS as well as peer-based harm reduction services via a syringe exchange program. Administrative data collected during normal operations of the Missouri Network for Opiate Reform and Recovery were analyzed using Pearson chi-square tests and Monte Carlo chi-square tests. Results: Intravenous substance-using participants (N= 417) had an average of 2.14 engagements (SD = 2.59) with the program. Over the evaluation period, a range of 5345–8995 sterile syringes were provided, with a range of 600–1530 used syringes collected. Participant housing status, criminal justice status, and previous health diagnosis were allsignificantly related to whether they had multiple engagements. Conclusions: Results suggest that recovery community organizations are well situated and staffed to also provide harm reduction services, such as syringe exchange programs. Given the relationship between engagement and participant housing, criminal justice status, and previous health diagnosis, recommendations for service delivery include additional education and outreach for homeless, justice-involved, LatinX, and LGBTQ+ identifying individuals.
Harm Reduction Journal
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