Remembering Karen Bigg

A Pioneer in the Harm Reduction Movement

Karen started at Chicago Recovery Alliance (CRA) as a volunteer in 1998 and began working full time in 2000. Together with her late husband, Dan, she developed a youth program at CRA. Her work with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), a branch of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, was groundbreaking. In 2019, she trained region 5, the office that includes Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin, on how to administer naloxone. This pivotal moment planted seeds for a harm reduction framework at SAMHSA.

Admired for “speaking her truth”, her impact in harm reduction is immeasurable.

Photo by Nigel Brunsdon

Subscribe to our newsletter

* indicates required