Vilmarie Narloch PsyD – Harm Reduction and Policy



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We have an awesome time speaking with SSDP’s Drug Education Manager, Dr. Vilmarie Narloch. Vilmarie is making a big difference with drug safety in the US and internationally with SSDP’s education program ‘Just Say Know.’

During the show we discuss Vilmarie’s work with policy around the Good Samaritan laws and other impressive and impactful harm reduction projects. We also discuss some of the pressure from various elements in the government regressing rules, like some law enforcement offices refusing to use Narcan\naloxone to help save the lives of people overdosing.

This episode is a dose of compassion and gives perspective about the different impacts from the drug war and prohibition.

If you are a student who wishes to get involved in drug policy work, please check out the work that SSDP is doing. If you do not have a chapter at your school or university, start one today!

Vilmarie also joins us in our course Navigating Psychedelics for a master class featuring harm reduction strategies and more. Be sure to sign up today to learn more from Vilmarie and many others!Navigating Psychedelics


About Students For Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP)

Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP) is the only international network of students dedicated to ending the war on drugs. At its heart, SSDP is a grassroots organization, led by a student-run Board of Directors. We create change by bringing young people together and creating safe spaces for students of all political and ideological stripes to have honest conversations about drugs and drug policy. Founded in 1998, SSDP is comprised of thousands of members at hundreds of campuses in countries around the globe.

About Just Say Know

Just Say Know is a series of drug education modules aimed at promoting open and honest dialogue around commonly used substances. The program aims to equip young people with harm reduction tools and skills as it relates to the specific substance, but can be applied to substance use generally.

Students for Sensible Drug Policy believes that students should be an overall part of any campus and community prevention and intervention strategy. Our SSDP Peer Education program seeks to empower students in our network to analyze the relationship between drug policy and drug use by providing evidence-based drug information, teaching students to recognize and address dangerous behaviors and unhealthy attitudes, and promoting prosocial and harm reduction oriented behaviors and attitudes.


Show Notes/Links


Vilmarie Narloch PsyD. – Bio

Vilmarie Narloch, PsyD., is the Drug Education Manager at Students for Sensible Drug Policy. In this role, Vilmarie oversees the development and implementation of the SSDP Peer Education program, which is a training program for SSDP Members to become certified to deliver our drug education program, Just Say Know, to their peers. Vilmarie is passionate about reforming drug education in the U.S. and abroad, and has dedicated years of study on the topic for her dissertation. Vilmarie has taken on this position because as an organization driven by students with exceptional knowledge on drug policy and other drug use related issues, SSDP is uniquely positioned and qualified to be developing a drug education program. Additionally, Vilmarie educates staff and the network on the current state of research and treatment issues with regard to substance use disorders and mental health. Vilmarie aims to aid in the connection of policy and practice by helping our network understand the impact of policy on access to treatment and care while utilizing the latest research.

Vilmarie earned her M.A. in Counseling and Psychological Services from Saint. Mary’s University of Minnesota, and a Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology. During her time at Roosevelt, she was a graduate research assistant with Roosevelt University’s Illinois Consortium on Drug Policy. Her work at ICDP included research support, report co-authorship and event planning and coordination. Vilmarie’s interests in drug education, access to treatment, and harm reduction policy and practice have led her to numerous projects, including the provision of counseling and harm reduction services to students at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and DePaul University, serving as a member of the Chicago Consortium on College Alcohol Harm Reduction, a predoctoral internship in the Adult Behavioral Services department in a local public health department, and a postdoctoral fellowship in a small prviate agency, where she provided therapy for individuals, couples, families, and groups in addition to supervising interns. Additionally, Vilmarie has been an adjunct instructor teaching undergraduate and graduate courses in psychology and substance use disorder treatment. She has dedicated her studies and clinical work to advance Harm Reduction as the standard of practice for substance use disorders. In doing so, she has sought opportunities to educate others in her field about harm reduction, including her students. Vilmarie’s dissertation, titled, “What Youth Want: Developing a Drug Education Curriculum Based on Youth Guidance and Evidence-Based Principles,” inspired her to continue to advocate for effective drug education on a professional level, which led to her current position at SSDP. Additionally, Vilmarie’s next personal career goal is to become trained to deliver psychedelic psychotherapy, which she considers to be the future of psychological practice.