Introduction to harm reduction course for students of social work
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INTRODUCTION TO HARM REDUCTION COURSE FOR STUDENTS OF SOCIAL WORK. PhDr. Lenka Vavrinčíková [email protected] FACULTY OF EDUCATION MATEJ BEL UNIVERSITY BANSKÁ BYSTRICA SLOVAKIA. FACULTY OF EDUCATION MATEJ BEL UNIVERSITY. was established on September 1964 prepares:

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INTRODUCTION TO HARM REDUCTIONCOURSE FOR STUDENTS OF SOCIAL WORK

PhDr. Lenka Vavrinčíková

[email protected]


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FACULTY OF EDUCATION

MATEJ BEL UNIVERSITY

BANSKÁ BYSTRICA

SLOVAKIA


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FACULTY OF EDUCATION MATEJ BEL UNIVERSITY

  • was established on September 1964

  • prepares:

    • teachers for the first stage of primary schools

    • teachers of general subjects at the second stage of primary schools (mathematics, Slovak language, music, art, physical education and ethics) combined with a second subject

    • teachers for the pre-school education

    • social workers

    • educators who can obtain bachelor’s or master’s degrees after studying full-time or part-time courses

    • teachers of religious education, priests and missionary workers for the Evangelical Church.


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Department of Social Work

Bachelor’s study:

  • Social Work

  • Social Work with Roma communities


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INTRODUCTION TO HARM REDUCTION

  • program of Matej Bel University, Faculty of Education, Department of Social Work and in cooperation with the Open Society Foundation Slovakia and IHRD NY

  • NOS - OSF put together an international group of experts that developed a training manual for teachers for the purposes of this one semester course (Jean Paul Grund, Katarina Jirešová, Anya Sarang, Lenka Vavrinčíková and Don McVinney)

  • course is aimed at delivering introductory information about harm reduction, its interventions and its connection to a boarder, human rights perspective to the students of social work


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INTRODUCTION TO HARM REDUCTION

  • the pilot course was successfully delivered and implemented at Matej Bel University, Banska Bystrica, Slovakia in academic year 2003/2004 for 2nd year students of Social Work

  • currently the course is delivered for the 2nd and 4th year students of social work

  • it has been offered to other departments of social work at other Slovak universities and abroad – through IHRD network


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Course Educational Goals

  • Students will understand harm reduction perspective as a broad social and organizational concept

  • Students will understand the principles of social work practice in harm reduction framework

  • Students will acquire basic skills in how to work with drug users individually and at the community level


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Learning Objectives

  • Define harm reduction as an approach that aims to reduce drug-related harm experienced by individuals and communities

  • Understand the historical and social contexts out of which harm reduction emerged and how harm reduction fits into an international human rights agenda

  • Identify and adopt the general principles of harm reduction

  • Understand various harm reduction models of intervention

  • Describe the different (classes of) drugs of abuse, their various routes of administration, their effects, and potential harms.

  • Understand drug use from a socio-cultural, ethnographic and hermeneutic perspective rather than a pathology perspective


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Learning Objectives

  • Apply harm reduction strategies from individual-level to community-level interventions

  • Apply basic social work skills, such as active listening and building therapeutic alliances, with drug using individuals

  • Reinforce ethical principles of social work (treating clients with dignity and respect, non-discrimination against classes of clients, and the importance as well as limitations of client confidentiality)

  • Understand the various roles for social workers engaged in assisting substance-using clients and be able to function independently and/or as a member of an interdisciplinary team

  • Understand how to establish and maintain client contact (engagement) across social work settings

  • Complete a functional assessment of an individual or community experiencing drug- related harm

  • Select appropriate intervention strategies and resources consistent with the needs of clients

  • Monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of their practice


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Listof Classes

Class 1:Course Overview: Clarifying Objectives and Expectations. Introduction to Harm Reduction.

Class2:Understanding Drug Use: Pharmacology, Classes of Drugs, Routes of Administration and Effects.

Class 3:Zinberg’s Theory of ‘Drug, Set, and Setting’, Continuum of Drug Use.

Class 4:Overview of Harm Reduction: History and Principles.

Class5: Prevention Strategies: Overdose Prevention; Relapse Prevention; Disease Prevention.

Class 6: Harm Reduction Modalities of Intervention.


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Listof Classes

Class 7:Assessment of Drug use and Drug-Related Harm: Individual Level Interventions.

Class 8: Community Level Intervention, Rapid Assessment, Community Mapping.

Class 9: Algorithms of Intervention, Goal Setting.

Class 10: Applications of Harm Reduction to Other Populations.

Class 11: Drug Policy, Harm Reduction and Human Rights.

Class 12: Drug User Involvement, Empowerment, Participatory Action.

Class 13: Wrap – up; Conclusion; Feedback; Evaluation; Looking Forward.


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Implementation

  • Train the trainers project (implemented by Faculty of Social Work – to train teachers of related courses / from related professions in harm reduction

  • Translation – English, Slovak, possibly Russian, possibly Chinese

  • Internet availability – www.osf.sk or www.soros.org/harm-reduction


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Acknowledgements

  • Don McVinney, USA

  • Jean Paul Grund, Netherlands

  • Anya Sarang, Russia

  • Katarina Jiresova, Slovakia

  • Matt Curtis, IHRD, NY

  • Sue Simon, IHRD, NY

  • Tatiana Hicarova, Slovakia


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