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Who Are We

We’ve been here since the start

HIT delivers effective interventions on drugs, community safety and other public health concerns. We produce publications, run mass media campaigns, deliver training, organise conferences and provide consultancy to individuals, community groups, health and social care and criminal justice agencies locally, nationally and at an international level.

HIT, formerly the Mersey Drug Training and Information Centre, was established in 1985 to reduce drug-related harm and set up one of the UK’s first syringe exchange schemes. Based in Liverpool, the organisation has an international reputation for developing, advocating and implementing a pragmatic and effective approach to the use of drugs.


  • Provides a wide range of training courses that helps develop the competence and confidence needed to work with drug users in line with DANOS
  • Organises events from intimate seminars to national conferences
  • Uses social marketing techniques to develop leaflets, posters and resources for PSHE education providers
  • Provides consultancy that helps professionals improve the planning, commissioning and delivery of interventions

Our Work Includes:

  • Encouraging safer injecting practices to prevent the spread of HIV and blood-borne viruses (BBVs)
  • Providing information about drugs and the law
  • Improving sexual health and knowledge of BBVs
  • Promoting safer clubbing
  • Preventing overdose

HIT Team

Pat O’Hare

Executive Director

Maddie O’Hare

Deputy Director

Lucy O’Hare

Training Manager

Nigel Brunsdon

Community Manager

Featured Trainer

Mat Southwell

Mat Southwell

Mat has worked in the drugs and HIV fields as a practitioner, manager and activist for 30 years. Mat was an early harm reduction worker in the UK and in 1991 founded the pioneering Healthy Options Team (HOT), a harm reduction agency that employed peer workers and used community mobilisation strategies with people who use drugs (PWUD).

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