By M-J Stowe, Orsi Feher, Beatrix Vas, Sangeet Kayastha & Alissa Greer / Harm Reduction Journal

The meaningful inclusion of young people who use or have used drugs is a fundamental aspect of harm reduction, including in program design, research, service provision, and advocacy efforts. However, there are very few examples of meaningful and equitable engagement of young people who use drugs in harm reduction, globally. Youth continue to be excluded from harm reduction programming and policymaking; when they are included, they often face tokenistic efforts that lack clear expectations, equitable work conditions, and are rarely afforded agency and autonomy over decision-making. In this commentary, we identify and discuss issues in youth engagement, and offer recommendations for the future of harm reduction.