WHAT is HARM REDUCTION?
Harm reduction is an attempt to REDUCE harm. It encourages people to explore their relationships with their behaviors and the issues that drive them. It also ensures that people who use drugs/alcohol and those with a history of drug use have a real voice in designing a program that meets and serves their needs.
Harm Reduction DOES NOT attempt to minimize or ignore the really tragic harm and danger that can be associated with illicit drug use.
Harm Reduction is a set of practical strategies and ideas aimed at reducing negative consequences associated with drug use.
Harm Reduction Strategies
- Assess the current levels of risk and harm
- Understand the underlying needs that are being met by the behavior
- Work at a realistic rate to increase safety and reduce harm and risk
- Work to meet the underlying needs in safer, more sustainable and permanent ways
- Work towards goals that are realistic and achievable.
Example of Harm Reduction Strategies may include:
- Drinking water between alcoholic beverages
- Shifting use form cocaine to marijuana
- Drinking only on weekends