What Is Harm Reduction Therapy?
Harm reduction provides education, resources, and avenues towards recovery for people who use substances. This approach benefits communities as well: Harm reduction reduces overall drug use, disease spread, violence/sexual assault (often directed at drug users) and public intoxication.
Harm Reduction Principles
The goal of harm reduction is to minimize the damage that drug use causes. Importantly, harm reduction takes a reality-based, non-judgmental approach that uses evidence and data rather than preconceived ideals set forth by people without a rudimentary understanding of addition.
The basic tenets of harm reduction serve both people with substance use disorders and the communities they live in. Drug users benefit by having access to education, rehab outreach and safe spaces that can intervene in the case of overdose and that keep intoxicated people off the street. Communities benefit by having healthier populations, reduced crime and improved community relations. Harm reduction also aims to restore basic human rights to addicts.
Goals of Harm Reduction Therapy
The most important goal of harm reduction therapy is providing help to drug addicts. This is accomplished by implementing overdose prevention strategies, providing drug awareness resources and offering assistance to people who are ready to quit drug or alcohol use.
Harm reduction therapy aims to provide basic decency to people who use drugs. For many people, this compassion is a crucial first step towards recovery. The sad fact is that drug users are often shunned by people who are unaware of the realities of drug use and addiction in America. Addicts are at increased risk for vicious attacks by malicious passersby and severe emotional trauma stemming from the dehumanization that accompanies serious addiction in the absence of wealth and social esteem.
Harm reduction also aims to mitigate the damage that substance use inflicts on entire communities. By providing people who use drugs with safe places to use drugs and programs that exchange needles, people who use drugs will have reduced risk of physical and psychological harm associated with drug use. This translates into improved health and social statistics by preventing the spread of disease and reducing arrest rates.