Harm Reduction Model — Introduction

Most of what we all see and hear with regard to substance abuse and addiction has a goal of abstinence.   A contrasting approach has the sole goal of reducing harm done by people who use drugs and/ or alcohol.   This effort can take many different forms.  Public health initiatives to provide clean needles to heroin addicts to prevent spread of HIV, are on aspect of  Harm Reduction.  On an individual basis, counseling people who either do not want to be clean and sober or do not think they are capable of becoming clean and sober so that they can minimize the harm that would come to them.  This can include helping users to set limits on their use  in terms of limiting frequency or such safety measures as having a designated driver, having Narcan (Naloxone) available.

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Last update November 1, 2014

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