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What is Harm Reduction?

What is Harm Reduction?

Harm reduction is the practice of using interventions that reduce the risk of the worst possible outcome in addiction. While there is an emphasis on the significance and importance of abstinence, harm reduction accepts that not everyone is ready to stop abusing drugs. However, they respect the safety of those in active addiction without passing judgment. In the past, addiction has been viewed as some sort of moral failing, and as time has progressed it is widely recognized that addiction is a chronic disorder of the brain [1],[2],[3]. There are many factors that influence the likelihood that someone may become addicted to a substance – such as an environment, genetics, behavior, and once a person is exposed to a substance, changes in brain chemistry[4].

Despite these influencers, harm reduction acknowledges that it is ultimately the drug user themselves who is primarily responsible for their own harm reduction and subsequent recovery from addiction[5]. Harm reduction is suitable for those who are walking on the journey to recovery for the first time. As well as, empowering those who have tried, but struggle to maintain their footing on the path to sobriety.

A principle used in harm reduction is needle exchange programs for those in active heroin addiction. Another well-known principle is the use of overdose prevention methods. Such as the medication often used by first responders when they encounter someone who has overdosed, Naloxone.



Moving away from active addiction.

Those in active addiction may begin with the use of low-threshold pharmacological interventions as they enter the withdrawal process. Medications such as Buprenorphine and Suboxone, help to reduce the impact of the side effects of withdrawal. At the Harm Reduction Center, we encourage change through our model. This includes Integrated MAT, Motivational Interviewing, and additional therapeutic modalities. Allowing us to empower and enrich the lives of those who are ready and willing to live a sober life. Without passing judgment, we provide each of our clients with the tools to embark on their road to recovery. We recognize that every person is different and their journey to a new life is just as unique as they are. Let us empower you.