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Student Paper

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The United States has the highest rate of incarceration in the world. Inmates suffer from chronic health conditions and substance use disorder (SUD) at a higher rate than the rest of the population yet, often do not receive sufficient medical care during incarceration. The theory of Emancipatory Nursing Praxis (ENP) calls for the integration of social justice within the profession of nursing. This theory provides a framework in which nurses can awaken and serve as agents of change, working to ameliorate issues of systemic oppression. Harm reduction refers to policies, programs, and strategies aimed at reducing the negative health, economic, and social impacts associated with drug use. This paper will examine the application of the ENP to the care of incarcerated individuals with SUD and evaluate the utility of harm reduction to improve healthcare access and reduce negative outcomes associated with drug use.