“A melting pot of harm reductionists”: Reflections on the Harm Reduction International conference
Returning from the 23rd iteration of Harm Reduction International’s global conference felt like waking up from a dream. In the dozens of hours travelling back from H23, which took place in Melbourne and was paused since the start of the global pandemic, I had a chance to reflect on the sheer amount of stories and emotions I lived and shared with passionate advocates from all over the world.
A true melting pot of harm reductionists, state partners and rogue activists, HR23 felt like a unique space in the international conference circuit – one where people didn’t have to defend the basis of harm reduction or the need to centre drug-related solutions on people and communities, unlike other addiction-focused conferences. While colleagues presented fascinating research from across the globe, the truly impactful moments were the relationships made in between talks and presentations, where we connected with other passionate advocates working towards a common goal: defending the rights of people who use drugs.