Nina Christie ’21

Drug Free Schools and Communities Act Intern

Nina Christie is the Drug Free Schools and Communities Act (DFSCA) Intern for Students for Sensible Drug Policy. Her primary role is to collect information from students and universities regarding campus drug policies and facilitate the introduction of harm reduction policies and programming onto campuses nationwide. The purpose of this work is to ensure that sensible policies – like harm reduction and the SSDP Just Say Know program – can be enacted at schools across the United States while maintaining compliance with the DFSCA.

Nina’s interest in substance use began when she was at UCLA working in a Psychology lab. After graduation, she worked at an inpatient adolescent treatment center for individuals with comorbid mental health problems and substance use. She then began her academic career as a Psychology PhD student at the University of Southern California in Psychology studying substance use. However, she wanted her work to focus on the world beyond the individual – she wanted to make a wider impact. She chose to pursue a dual-degree program and began working towards a Master’s in Public Health with a concentration in Health Services and Policy. It was during these years that her work in the field of drug policy activism truly began. Her research projects have focused on the experiences of people who use needle exchanges, how public attitudes can impact the availability of harm reduction services, and the importance of social connection and peer-to-peer resources for individuals who have substance use disorders. She has also studied several types of harm reduction programs for college students, identifying what types of brief interventions can lead to less-risky drug use behaviors.

Nina joined SSDP in October of 2021 as the intern for the DFSCA, and she continues to publish her work in academic journals, as well as write pop-psych articles and blogs for public audiences. She is passionate about ensuring that people who use drugs are treated with dignity and respect. Her goal is to create a world where society understands that harm reduction, sensible policies, and education play a critical role in the health of our communities.