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Author: Nigel Brunsdon

Lucy O’Hare

I am the Training Manager here at HIT, so I’m responsible for putting together our annual training programme and liaising with our customers and trainers to set up commissioned courses. My days involve a LOT of emails back and forth, writing evaluation reports and putting training packs together, amongst other things!

I’ve been at HIT since 2009 and I feel very lucky to do the job that I do, and in such a lovely working environment. I also love having the opportunity to go to conferences and meet lots of new people – for instance I was lucky enough to go to the International Harm Reduction Conference in Lithuania.

Before I started at HIT, I spent a couple of years in Australia and New Zealand on a Working Holiday visa, and before that I studied French at Leeds University. When I’m not working, I enjoy camping (mostly in Wales) and going to festivals, and I love riding my bike along Liverpool’s beautiful waterfront. I have also developed a recent obsession with dehydrating fruit and vegetables, and my ambition for this year is to start learning the violin again, 15 years after giving it up!


HIT Seminar Archive


On 2nd February 2012 Danny Morris gave a presentation on the lifesaving medication Naloxone. This drug that can be used to reverse the effects of opitate overdose and is being distributed by a number of areas around the UK and internationally to heroin users and their families.

The session was attended by 40-50 people and there was lively discussion on the day. The main point of discussion was around the possibility (or not) that people’s behaviour could become more risky. The group was split three ways with the following opinions:

  • That it would make behaviour more risky, and so should be seen as a negative intervention
  • That behaviour may be more risky but, still thought that it was worth using this as an overdose intervention
  • That there is no evidence that it increases risk behaviour and that there is evidence that it doesn’t increase risk

On this last point, Seal et al. “…observed a decline in heroin use in participants enrolled in their naloxone (and resuscitation) intervention in San Francisco, with a simultaneous increase in overdose prevention knowledge.”

Cost was not raised as a major issue, although some providers were worried that they would have to bear the cost of training people in naloxone’s use, but the local DAAT reassured them that it would cover these costs.


Danny Morris

Danny Morris has been involved in the drugs field for over 20 years. He works as a development manager for an NHS drug treatment service in the UK and increasingly as a freelance trainer, writer and consultant focussing on supporting services and users in initiating changes that focuses on the sustainable reduction of drug related harm.

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Nigel Brunsdon

I’m HIT’s Community Manager, it’s a very grand title that doesn’t quite explain the work I do. I’m responsible for managing HIT’s social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter etc.), putting together the community focused websites we run like the and encouraging people to use these services. I’m basically the guy who’s job it is to let you know what we’re doing here at HIT from day to day. I’m also the resident photographer for out events at HIT like the Hot Topics Conference.

I’ve been working in drug services for over a decade with previous jobs including Project Worker up to Area Manager and Trainer. Setting up needle programmes, doing one to one work and managing projects. As well as my day job I’m also the deputy chair of the National Needle Exchange Forum.

I’ve been working at HIT since the end of 2011, Pat approached me to join the team because of the work he knew I did on social media and on my own personal site (, now retired as an active site). I can honestly say I love my job, I get to work with people who are passionate about harm reduction and meet many of the people whose work I’ve followed over the years at the conferences, seminars and training we run.

When it comes to me as a person, outside of my obsession with harm reduction, I’m a proud father, husband, photographer and self-confessed geek.

Drug Consumption Rooms

HIT Seminar Archive

Drug Consumption Rooms

The world’s first drug consumption room was opened in Berne, Switzerland in 1986. Dr Robert Haemmig and Dr Jakob Huber were among the founders. Dr Haemmig spoke about their history and rationale and Dr Huber spoke about the development-oriented approach that bridges acceptance/harm reduction perspectives and abstinence based services.

Neil Hunt spoke about the past, present and future of Drug Consumption Rooms in the UK including the support shown to them by David Cameron. He also spoke at length about the legal landscape in the UK and how this may impact (or not) on the possibility of these services.


Dr. Robert Haemmig

University Psychiatric Services, Berne, Switzerland

Dr. Robert Haemmig is a Swiss Psychiatrist and Director of Integrated and Drug Services, University Psychiatric Services, at the University of Bern, Switzerland, since 1994. Dr. Haemmig opened the first safer consumption site in Bern in 1986 and was a pioneer in the development and provision of heroin-assisted treatment in Europe. He has been a Member of the Safety Assurance Group for Heroin Prescription in Switzerland since 1996. He is a world authority on innovative harm reduction approaches to injection drug use, patient-centered care and the incorporation of evidence-based approaches into the treatment of addiction. Dr. Haemmig is the founding and past President of the Swiss Society of Addiction Medicine.

Jakob Huber


Jakob Huber managing director of Contact Netz (Contact Foundation). He played a key role in shaping the addiction aid organization Contact and Swiss harm reduction. In the 80s and 90s, which were characterized by distressed open drug scenes, CONTACT did pioneering work in Swiss drug policy and work. With bold, innovative harm reduction

Neil Hunt

Freelance Researcher and Trainer

Neil Hunt a Freelance Researcher and Trainer; Honorary Senior Research Associate at the School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research, University of Kent; and Honorary Research Fellow with the Centre for Research on Drugs and Health Behaviour, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, UK.

Jon Derricott

Video Credits

All the films of sessions appearing on this page have been recorded and edited by Jon Derricott.

HIT Seminar


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An Introduction To Harm Reduction

This one day course is ideal for people new to the concepts of harm reduction. The session will include understanding the pragmatic approaches to substance use as well as understanding how harm reduction approaches effect working practice.

This course was designed for anyone working within non-substance misuse services, eg nurses, police, social services staff and other care organisations. However it also works as a great primer for both new and experienced drugs workers. The main focus is on giving delegates the practical skills required to work within a harm reduction methodology.

Learning Objectives

  • Understand the philosophy behind harm reduction
  • Examine the categorisation of substances in relation to harm
  • Understand how harm reduction ‘fits’ in with recovery
  • Be able to relate harm reduction to daily life
  • Explore national and international campaigns
  • Develop harm reduction programmes specific to your own client group

Safer Injecting

This one day course has been developed to give a good understanding of safer injecting harm reduction advice. It will inform delegates of best practice and recognised harm reduction messages to be used when working with injecting drug users, along with an underpinning knowledge of currently injected substances and their associated risk factors.

This course was developed for anyone whose role involves working with people who inject drugs (PWID) and the main focus is on giving delegates the practical skills required to work with PWID.

Learning Objectives

  • Understand the issues around sharing equipment
  • Understand which drugs are commonly injected and their associated risk factors
  • To be able to identify a wide range of associated health/social risk factors
  • Presenting accurate facts and figures of injecting risks nationally
  • Identify strategies for working with route transition interventions
  • Basic overview of steroid injecting issues (optional)