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Evaluating Harm Reduction Program for Drug Users

Population and Setting

The implementation of research requires considerable attention to such domains as setting and sampling. It is critical to include all the meaningful details regarding the setting to ensure the reliability of the utilized methods (Fain, 2017). The setting for the proposed quantitative research is a local inpatient treatment center. The present harm reduction project implies the provision of healthcare services to substance users seeking help or receiving other healthcare services. Nurses engaged in the program will encourage patients who report using drugs to participate in the current study. Nurses have been the central figures in the implementation of such incentives (Palumbo, 2019). Recent research suggests that community-based projects are effective and beneficial for the target population (Moreira et al., 2019). The proposed program is community-based, so the center will also collaborate with the community to disseminate information about the initiative and its benefits. Nurse practitioners will provide educational services related to harm reduction on the territory of the center as well. Some educational materials (leaflets, booklets, flyers, and others) will be available in the community (health-related organizations, non-profit organizations for substance users, shelters, and so on).

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The target population of this quantitative study includes substance users with a focus on drug addicts. Harm reduction problems tend to address the needs of drug addicts who seek help but can also reach more people if implemented properly (Dubois, 2017). Therefore, it is possible to aim at a larger population of such substance users as drug addicts, binge drinkers, and occasional users of substances. Moreover, other groups may benefit from participation in the project (or similar incentives) in the future. The members of the community who have a relative or friend abusing substances can learn about harm reduction options and encourage their close ones to become a participant as well.


As far as the sample is concerned, the employed sampling method largely depends on the purpose of the study and the chosen research methodology. For the purpose of the current quantitative research based on the use of quasi-experimental methodology, purposive sampling is the most appropriate method. Purposive sampling implies recruiting participants that can be reached comparatively easily (Fain, 2017). Nurses will offer all patients reporting having used or using drugs to participate in the harm reduction program. Nursing professionals will provide promotional materials mentioned above to all drug users. However, healthcare professionals will not offer any monetary or other motivational strategies. Hence, it is likely that not all patients reporting having used or using drugs will agree to participate in the project.

This sampling method will help researchers to identify the exact impact of the program in terms of its ability to attract people in need. The primary focus of the harm reduction approach is respect and autonomy, as healthcare practitioners should ensure the recognition of patients’ right to make decisions on the matter (Kulikowski & Linder, 2018). The difference between the number of participants prior to the beginning of the program and three months after its commencement will display the effectiveness of the project. If more people are eager to become participants, the initiative will lead to substantial improvements in the community, reducing potential harm. Healthcare professionals will be able to use this program in the center and encourage other healthcare facilities to develop and implement similar projects by disseminating the results of the proposed study.


Dubois, T. M. (2017). Harm reduction. Journal of Addictions Nursing, 28(1), 42-42.

Fain, J. A. (2017). Reading, understanding, and applying nursing research. F.A. Davis Company.

Kulikowski, J., & Linder, E. (2018). Making the case for harm reduction programs for injection drug users. Nursing, 48(6), 46-51.

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Moreira, C. R., Soares, C. B., Campos, C. M. S., & Laranjo, T. H. M. (2019). Harm reduction: Trends being disputed in health policies. Revista Brasileira De Enfermagem, 72(suppl 3), 312-320.

Palumbo, R. (2019). A call to action: Defining the acute care nurse’s role in harm reduction for persons with substance use disorder. Journal of Addictions Nursing, 30(4), 236-237.

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