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"Opening Doors" Enhancing Youth Friendly Harm Reduction: A Toolkit

image - Opening Doors
Author: National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, Access Quality International

Resource Type: General

This Toolkit aims to distill what was learned during the implementation of the project Opening Doors - Increasing access to effective harm reduction interventions for vulnerable and marginalised young drug users, supported by AidsFonds, Netherlands.

The purpose of the Toolkit is to provide a set of training sessions to stimulate discussion that can lead to ‘youth friendly harm reduction’ services. This may entail review of services, their renewal and, possibly, re-design.

The topics covered in each of the 16 training sessions are as follows:

  1. Youth-Friendly Services
  2. Youth-Friendly Services II
  3. Harm Reduction For Young People Who Use Drugs
  4. NSP, Outreach, Drop-in-Centres, Risk and Safety
  5. Drugs, Withdrawal, Overdose and OST
  6. BBIs, HIV, HCV, HBV, TB, STIs
  7. Health and Nutrition
  8. Mental Health and Well-being
  9. Basic Counselling
  10. Motivational Enhancement
  11. Group work
  12. Relapse prevention
  13. Building Young Leaders – Peer Educators
  14. Activities
  15. Essential Networks and advocacy
  16. The Change Process


Each session in the Toolkit includes:

  • Written reference material
  • Diagrams and images to explain key concepts
  • Provacative questions to stimulate group brain storming
  • Questions for smaller group discussions


Attached here is only the PDF component of the Toolkit. The full Toolkit comes with an accompanying CD/USB. For further information, please contact Dr John Howard john.howard@unsw.edu.au

Who is the Toolkit for?
The Toolkit can be used with a variety of audiences, and a mix and match approach can be useful. For example,

  • Staff of a particular service
  • Staff from other services
  • Community groups
  • Key stakeholders
  • Young people who use drugs
  • All of the above participating in the same training – an ‘ideal approach’


What the kit does NOT provide
The Toolkit does not aim at teaching or developing specific skills. The aim is to:

  • Promote reflection on current practice
  • The identification of specific areas that necessitate workforce capacity building
  • The development of essential and supportive networks to provide what cannot currently be provided, and, possibly
  • Facility re-design (for example, re-design of space allocation and use to which space is allocated) or additions (for example, in the form of equipment).


How to use the Toolkit:
The Toolkit can be used in a variety of ways:

  • It can be used for staff training for a particular service. ‘Staff’ includes managers, clinicians, residential, peer and outreach workers and volunteers.
  • It can form the (or part of) curriculum for staff training hosted by a particular service for their own and staff of other services.
  • Individuals can use it in a self-directed format.


Citation: Howard, J. (2011). “Opening doors” enhancing youth-friendly harm reduction: a toolkit. Chiang Mai, Thailand: National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, University of New South Wales and Access Quality International.