Harm Reduction

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, harm reduction is a proactive and evidence-based approach to reduce the negative personal and public health impacts of behavior associated with alcohol and other substance use at both the individual and community levels.

Harm reduction is an important part of the comprehensive approach to addressing substance use disorders through prevention, treatment, and recovery where individuals who use substances set their own goals.

Harm reduction organizations incorporate a spectrum of strategies that meet people “where they are” on their own terms, and may serve as a pathway to additional prevention, treatment, and recovery services. Harm reduction works by addressing broader health and social issues through improved policies, programs, and practices.


Xylazine, a sedative drug, has been found in eastern Iowa. Linn County Public Health does not have any testing technology to detect xylazine. 

For additional information on xylazine, view this handout from the National Harm Reduction Coalition (PDF).

Additional Resources

If you are looking for additional resources for food, housing, transportation, medical care, and/or other needs, you can learn more about My Care Community online.