Episode 36: Gariann Yochym
Updated: Nov 25, 2018
Gariann Yochym works for the North Carolina Harm Reduction Coalition, providing harm reduction services throughout Haywood County and case management services for the Waynesville LEAD (Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion) Program. Prior to her current work, she taught high school English for 8 years. During her tenure, she was involved in a number of social justice campaigns and, ultimately, decided to pursue a Masters in Social Work to further her efforts to effect change, with specific interest in drug policy and criminal justice reform. She has worked as a re-entry case manager and was instrumental in launching a successful Ban the Box campaign in Asheville-Buncombe County. Her personal and professional experiences have enhanced her understanding of the ways in which the War on Drugs has impacted individuals, families, and communities, as well as, the limitations of the dominant abstinence-based treatment paradigm. Consequently, she has sought work that advances trauma-informed, evidence-based practices; that advances progressive public health policy; and that aligns more closely with her values and principles: work as a harm reductionist.