Iowa Harm Reduction Coalition

A program in a rural state that provides comprehensive harm reduction services to people who use drugs and advocates for policy change

The Iowa Harm Reduction Coalition (IHRC) offers comprehensive health and social services in four metro areas and 23 of Iowa's 99 counties. IHRC utilizes a harm reduction model that meets people where they are at, offering services in multiple low-barrier settings, including home deliveries, mobile outreach, and office-based services. The organization is also significantly involved in policy advocacy. IHRC strives to create health equity in Iowa communities through advocacy, education, and drug user health services.

Some of the more innovative services provided by the IHRC include:

  • Rural naloxone access through the mailing system at no cost
  • Free HIV and hepatitis C rapid testing followed by linkage into care and patient navigation services
  • Access to drug testing materials, such as fentanyl test strips, that allow participants to test their drugs
  • Linkage to supportive services and rapid re-housing programs
  • Outreach services to people engaging in club-based and full-service sex work
  • 24-hour hotline for supplies, services, support, and program information

More details on the IHRC can be found in their 2019 Annual Report. News articles on the program and its founder can be found here and here

1,423 overdoses were reversed with naloxone distributed by the Iowa Harm Reduction Coalition which is 19% of the naloxone kits distributed. 

Continuum of Care
Harm Reduction
Type of Evidence
Response Approach
Comprehensive services
Housing, Education, and Employment
Overdose prevention

Evidence of Program Effectiveness

This program has not been formally evaluated, although they offer many evidenced-based harm reduction services. They self-report 47,653 interactions, over 650,000 safe injection kits and 7,185 naloxone kits distributed, 405 individuals tested for hepatitis C, 113 individuals connected to treatment, and 1,423 overdoses reversed by IHRC naloxone in 2019.