Funding for Harm Reduction

Redirecting Funds to Harm Reduction

We spend 750x more on punitive responses to drugs than we do on life-saving services for people who use drugs.

We advocate for redirection of funding for punitive drug control towards life-saving, cost-effective, and rights-based harm reduction interventions and in programmes which prioritise health, community and justice.

$100 billion

annual expenditure on global drug law enforcement

$131 million

annual expenditure on harm reduction

750 X

more spent on punitive drug control


Our research shows that if we redirect just 7.5% of the funds currently spent on drug law enforcement towards health-based responses to drug use such as opioid agonist therapy, needle and syringe programmes, we could:

  • Almost entirely end AIDS among people who inject drugs 
  • Prevent viral hepatitis among people who use drugs
  • Save thousands of lives by giving Naloxone (a medicine which reverses opioid overdoses) to first responders, family, and community members
  • Improve the health of people who use drugs in prisons and detention centres by providing harm reduction services in those settings

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