Student Health and Wellness Services

Harm Reduction and other Harm Reduction Strategies

Harm reduction is a set of strategies that encourages the safest and healthiest choice based on someone’s circumstances. Harm reduction is a set of practical strategies and ideas aimed at reducing negative consequences associated with drug use. It incorporates a spectrum of strategies that includes safer use, managed use, and/or abstinence.

Drug Checking

Drug checking, also known as pill checking or adulterant screening, is a harm reduction service that allows people to get more information about what is in their drugs.

The best way involves a precise, high- level testing method called gas chromatography / mass spectrometry (GC/MS). Individuals can send a sample in to for testing at a lab and wait 2 to 3 weeks for the lab results to be posted online.

Personal drug checking kits, which use liquid chemical reagents to help potential users get a better understanding of what’s in their substance. These kits come with a color chart that helps people determine what drug is mostly present in the substance they’ve tested. Drug checking kits are available through Dance Safe 

Fentanyl testing strips , originally designed for urine drug tests, are now being used off label to test for the presence or absence of fentanyl and fentanyl analogs in the illicit drug supply. Fentanyl testing strips work by dissolving a small sample of a drug into water, insert a test strip, and look for an indicator line alerting the user to the presence of fentanyl. Dance Safe provides specific instructions on how to check drugs for fentanyl

Additional Harm Reduction Strategies:
  • Abstinence
  • Develop drug knowledge
  • Learn dose and dosage
  • Start low and go slow
  • Consider moderation
  • Consider mindset and setting before using drugs
  • Avoid mixing substances
  • Know how to respond to an emergency
  • Know drug policy

Please complete this form if you would like to talk with a health educator about harm reduction strategies 

Harm Reduction Resources


Dance Safe 

Drugs Data