Buy Tickets for: 2019 Harm Reduction in the House Conference: Conversations on the Edge

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Please put this event in your calendar for Friday, October 4, 2019

Looking forward to seeing you there!

If you have questions or concerns please contact Nicole Carter at

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8:15-9:00        Registration                                                                                                              

9:00-10:20      Welcome & Opening Session-– (Illinois Room)

                        The Alliance for Collaborative Drug Checking—Real Time (ACDC-RT)

                        Lydia Karch, MPH

During this session, Lydia will introduce the ACDC-RT, a street-based “drug checking service” providing drug composition information to consumers. Attendees will learn how ACDC-RT uses four technologies to evaluate the chemical composition of drugs, and how that information is shared with consumers in order to reduce potential harms associated with drug use.


10:30-12:00    Psychedelics: Harm Reduction and Healing

Vilmarie Narloch, PsyD, Geoff Bathje, PhD, and Valery Shuman, LCPC, ATR-BC (Illinois Room)

Psychedelics, like most substances, have both risks and healing potential. We will anchor our discussion within the sociopolitical context in which psychedelics are used, and will discuss personal use and therapeutic use. We will evaluate the sociopolitical/cultural barriers to harm reduction and healing, and discuss the legal pathways to becoming a psychedelic-assisted therapist.  


                        Takin’ It to the Streets

                        Erica Ernst, LCSW, RDDP, EMT-P, CADC and Loren Phillips, LCSW (Cardinal Room)

Have you ever wondered how your participants who receive your cutting-edge services in housing got to you? By meeting folx ‘where they’re at’: doing street outreach! Join us for a discussion of Harm Reduction best practices in mental health, physical health and substance use where folx need it the most.


Risk Reduction with Domestic Violence Survivors

Danielle Boachie, MA, ICDVP (Fort Dearborn Room)

A common question domestic violence survivors are asked is: "Why didn't you leave?" This workshop will unpack barriers to leaving abusive relationships, and cover harm reductive frameworks to adopt when working with victims. We will also challenge stereotypes of abusers in order to build towards a future of transformative justice.


12:05-1:05      Lunch provided (Networking)

1:15-2:45        Creating Living Space for Sexuality: Harm Reduction Through Sex Ed

Worner Leland MS, BCBA (Illinois Room)

For adults with learning/intellectual disabilities or divergence, there is heightened vulnerability to both sexual assault and sexual human rights restrictions. This talk will examine harm reduction through tailored, comprehensive sex education and environmental arrangement to accommodate and honor sexual behavior rights.


Being a Good Neighbor: Engage Your Community

Chris Schaffner, CADC (Fort Dearborn Room)

Working with the community can be a difficult task. NIMBYs, politicians, and local organizations likely do not understand harm reduction. Developing partnerships is important but takes time and intentionality. This workshop will explore best practices for engaging your community and overcoming unnecessary barriers.

Outreach and Clinical Models to Identify and Address Barriers to Hepatitis C Treatment

Thomas Ambelang, Sam Forsythe, Alaa Wasfi, RN, and Sarah Kwasigroch, PharmD (Cardinal Room)

Our session will discuss HCV stigma, the barriers to HCV treatment, and the methods the multidisciplinary team (social work/pharmacology/nursing) at Howard Brown Health employs in working with patients from diagnosis through SVR-12 cure: accessibility, patient directed, team support, flexibility, harm reduction foundations, and community outreach.


3:00-4:30        Death Panel: Harm Reduction and End of Life Care

Kimber Brightheart, LCSW, Jamie Lavender, LMFT, Bobbi Nyman, RN, and Emily Segal, MAAT, LPC (Illinois Room)

Harm Reduction means to live with dignity, and it also means to die with dignity. This panel addresses meeting individualized end of life needs and goals using harm reduction models. Included are the natural alignment of end of life care and harm reduction perspectives, how to foster collaboration and acceptance between people in end of life care, their caregivers and loved ones.


Moving past systemic oppression: Creating realistic safe spaces for street-based youth 

Nikki Mckinney and members of the Street Youth Rise Up Task Force (Cardinal Room)

This workshop will demonstrate how interpersonal and institutional violence affects youth who are involved in street based economies. Using an interactive approach, the presenters will guide attendees through an experience to help them understand what makes everyday spaces unsafe for street-based youth, and learn alternatives to supporting this population.


Medical Cannabis

Kelly Ducheney, PsyD. Cori Blum, MD, AAHIVS, and Claudia Smith (Fort Dearborn Room)

This presentation will discuss the harm reduction, primary care focused, interdisciplinary medical cannabis program developed at Howard Brown Health, an LGBTQ community health center in Chicago. Presenters will offer examples of client materials and describe challenges and decision points we have encountered in the 3 years of running the program.


4:30-5:00        Wrap-up, Evaluations, CEU distribution


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