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Harm Reduction — and its Critical Role in Addiction by Dr. Lipi Roy

Harm reduction is a set of practical policies, programs and strategies aimed at reducing the harms or negative consequences associated with drug use. Harm Reduction is also a movement for social justice built on a belief in – and respect for – the rights of people who use drugs.

Key features of Harm Reduction:
1. Focus on the prevention of harm, rather than on the prevention of drug use itself
2. Focus on people who continue to use drugs

This brief video is an excerpt about harm reduction which is part of a larger educational series,‘Addiction 101,’ which I provide to Correctional Health staff (case managers, social workers, nurses) and NYC Department of Correction officers who work with incarcerated men and women at Rikers Island, New York City’s largest jail — and the nation’s oldest and largest jail-based opioid treatment program.

Harm reduction incorporates a spectrum of strategies from safer use, to managed use to abstinence to meet drug users where they’re at,” addressing conditions of use along with the use itself. Because harm reduction demands that interventions and policies designed to serve drug users reflect specific individual and community needs, there is no universal definition of or formula for implementing harm reduction.

 

REFERENCES:

Harm Reduction Coalition
Harm Reduction International
Drug Policy Alliance

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