Reproductive Harm Reduction Toolkit


This project extends and deepens an ongoing academic-community partnership focused on challenges experienced by people who use drugs (PWUD), especially within the realm of reproductive care. Our project focuses on stigma related to perinatal substance use and drug use among parents. Of special concern is that PWUDs experience stigma (individually, socially, and structurally) which can manifest in the threat of custody loss if they disclose their substance use and, subsequently, a person’s willingness to seek/receive care. Our project addresses such concerns through a community-partner/cross-disciplinary response that builds upon shared sites of expertise and perspective. We center community-partner lived experience narratives and build upon provisional work in drafting a training toolkit for providers that uses such narratives to address stigma. Our approach aims to critically supplement efforts in using narratives to cultivate empathy among individuals such as current/future providers; instead, we focus on bias and misinformation disruption to address the material–and pressing–effects of stigmatizing attitudes and behaviors.

The aims for this P2 initiative are to:

  1. Develop and refine a suite of training products and resources (toolkit) that combine lived experience narrative with evidence-based knowledge that is delivered using harm reduction and reproductive justice principles.
  2. Deliver tailored trainings and technical assistance to PWUDs and professionals who provide services to PWUDs and/or their children.
  3. Evaluate feasibility and effectiveness of training products at reducing stigma/implicit bias (self, social, and structural).
  4. Identify and address constraining aspects of interdisciplinary work across the humanities and health sciences, particularly as applied to community-engaged research and practice.

Team Members:

  • Heather Adams, Assistant Professor English, UNCG
  • Tamika M. Davis, Instructional Technology Consultant, School of Health and Human Sciences, UNCG
  • Regina McCoy, MPH, Professor of Public Health Education, UNCG
  • Tracy Nichols, PhD, Professor of Public Health Education, UNCG
  • Abby Coulter
    • Executive Assistant, Special Projects Coordinator, North Carolina Survivors Union
    • Methadone Liaison, Urban Survivors Union
    • Board Secretary, Womens Harm Reduction International Network
  • Louise Vincent, MPH
    • Executive Director, North Carolina Survivors Union
    • Leadership Team Member, Urban Survivors Union
  • Dinah Adames (Otriz)
    • Independent Consultant
    • Harm Reduction Expert
    • Expert on Mothers Who Use Drugs
    • NCSU Board Member
    • USU Leadership Team Member
  • Tina Reynolds, MSW
    • Consultant, North Carolina Survivors Union
  • Caty Simon,
    • USU Leadership Team Member
    • Editor, Narcofeminism Storyshare Project at North Carolina Survivors Union,
    • Leadership Team Member at and Sex Worker Liaison for Urban Survivors Union, the national drug users union,
    • Co-founder, Whose Corner Is It Anyway, Massachusetts organization by and for low-income sex workers who use drugs and/or experience housing insecurity.
  • Ria Tsinas,
    • Director of Development, Academy of Perinatal Harm Reduction