Referral to hepatitis C treatment and hepatitis A and B vaccinations. Screening for sexually transmitted diseases and tuberculosis. Prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission. Services for medical, social, and mental health problems. Opponents believe it will keep people in a pattern where they keep using instead of allowing them to hit rock bottom and find their way out of addiction.
Promotes drug use. Some critics think that helping people do drugs more safely encourages them to start or keep using drugs. Is really a pathway to legalize drugs. Certain critics think that harm reduction advocates have an ulterior motive to reform drug laws and promote a legal, regulated market for drugs. The Drug Free America Foundation, a nonprofit that advocates prevention and reduction in drug use, argues that harm reduction can lead to the belief that drugs are not dangerous, which can in turn support drug use.
According to the foundation, the policies prolong addiction, promote acceptance of drug use by adults and youth, and lead to the perception that drugs can be used safely and responsibly. They espouse the belief that the only way to prevent harm from drug use is abstinence. Per the foundation, harm reduction only makes sense when it is combined with an approach that includes prevention, treatment, and law enforcement.
What is harm reduction?
The United States has historically taken more of an enforcement and abstinence-only approach to drug use. However, in , the Obama administration lifted a year ban on federal funding for needle exchange programs. Programs such as needle exchanges and medication-assisted treatment for opioid addiction are available in many parts of the country.
Still, these programs are not available in certain regions and are affected by local laws. Harm reduction programs offer a number of potential benefits to drug users, their families, and the public. But those who eventually want to stop using drugs should seek out some form of treatment. A number of options are available, including therapy, self-help groups, and drug rehab centers.
Medical and mental health professionals can help you safely complete detox, develop strategies to resist drugs, and examine the reasons for your addiction.
For those seeking addiction treatment for themselves or a loved one, the DrugAbuse. Our helpline is offered at no cost to you and with no obligation to enter into treatment. Neither DrugAbuse. Browse Featured Rehabs. Harm Reduction Table of Contents. What Is Harm Reduction? Thinking About Getting Rehab? Opioid Overdose Prevention Overdoses from opioids have reached epidemic proportions in the U. Research on Alcohol Harm Reduction.
Perhaps the most well-known form of harm reduction is the needle exchange program, or syringe services program. Harm Reduction International. What is harm reduction? The Global State of Harm Reduction Harm Reduction Coalition. Principles of Harm Reduction. Leslie, K. Harm reduction: An approach to reducing risky health behaviors in adolescents. Paediatric and Child Health, 13, Ashton, M. A review of the evidence-base for harm reduction approaches to drug use. Forward Thinking on Drugs. Wodak, A.
The effectiveness of harm reduction in preventing HIV among injecting drug users. The Canadian Press. Harm reduction more effective than war on drugs in B. CBC News.
I love ripping off people. I love having to do tricks for men down the road. It is an issue of breaking that nexus. Harm minimisation is very fine. Harm minimisation for those people who relapse is a necessary component, but it should be focused at then trying to shift them along that process back to where they are not using.
Under the current NDS framework there is no clear policy document that applies to illicit drugs only. The absence of a single national policy document that refers to illicit drugs with the objective of harm prevention and drug-free individuals is a key weakness of the current approach to national illicit drug policy. Another weakness is the attempt to develop national policy at Ministerial Council level — where the consensus approach to decision-making leads to nebulous policy designed to accommodate competing interests.
6.1 What is harm minimisation?
The committee considers that an explicit national illicit drug policy document should be developed that has as its key objective the prevention of illicit drug use — preventing harm from commencing and preventing the continuation of any harm. A zero tolerance policy does not mean that the committee fails to recognise that some people will relapse, but that these people are consistently encouraged by the treatment sector and the broader Australian community to become and remain drug free.
The policy should be developed at a Heads of Government level, by the Council of Australian Governments, rather than being determined at Ministerial Council level. The committee received considerable comment from families and organisations about how specific harm minimisation programs sometimes referred to as harm reduction programs , such as methadone maintenance, safe injecting rooms and needle and syringe programs impacted on families.
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The committee believes that harm minimisation approaches can result in significant damage to families — especially the children of drug users — where drug treatment interventions do not protect children. The parents are not emotionally available for them.
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If they are so focused on getting the drugs to manage through their day they are not able to be there when the kids need them—they are not feeding them, they are not clothing them, they are just not picking them up when they fall and skin their knees and all those things are important for all of us to learn how to trust people. If you are getting rejected—whether it is just going from one home to another, no matter how loving that home may be for that short period of time—all the time you are not going to trust anybody.
You are going to learn that we as adults are not reliable to little kids; we are unpredictable, that from one day to the next that bed is not going to be there or available for them. And so then you have teenagers who have no respect for society or for anybody because why should they respect us? We have never been there when they were little, we did not put a bandaid on their knees, we did not kiss them goodnight, we were not there to give them food. The committee examined the impact on children of parental illicit drug use in more detail in chapter three and made several strong recommendations about how child safety can be strengthened to break the intergenerational cycle of illicit drug use and better protect children.
Some inquiry participants took the view that harm minimisation programs do not necessarily address drug use. The mother of a daughter with a drug addiction considered that: Harm minimisation programs … do not address the real problem. They cater to the symptoms and in essence hide, or mask the situation, and in fact make it easier for addicts to continue with their habit. In a sense it is one of the enabling factors that encourages substance abuse. In turn, this can only be achieved by addicts undertaking recognised rehabilitation and counselling programs.
This would be the first one to go on to. This would be the next one. If, while they are there, as a person who uses three or four times a day, they self-administer, that is just the nature of the beast. But to focus on simply having an environment where people come and inject is not the goal. The goal is to use that as an opportunity to then look at where you are going to shift those people. A former parole officer considered that: Harm minimisation undermines families because children are able to access government needle exchanges which hastens the induction to addiction by supplying needles and syringes for free, and education in their use, thus effectively subsidising the addiction of these children.
All of this can happen without the knowledge or support of parents. To help the addict it is imperative to stop all drug use as Australia can no longer endure the haemorrhage of young lives lost to drugs. Pharmaceutical drugs have been used in the treatment of opioid dependency in Australia for several decades.