What is harm reduction?
Harm reduction is a set of practical strategies and ideas aimed at reducing negative consequences associated with drug user– according to(health experts). Sounds like stigma, and that is discrimination. The principles of harm reduction can and should be utilized by those who suffer with any form of addiction.
Harm reduction (or harm minimization) is a range of public health policies designed to reduce the harmful consequences associated with various human behaviors, both legal and illegal. Harm reduction policies are used to manage behaviors such as recreational drug use and sexual activity in numerous settings that range from services through to geographical regions. Critics of harm reduction typically believe that tolerating risky or illegal behavior sends a message to the community that such behaviors are acceptable and that some of the actions proposed by proponents of harm reduction do not reduce harm over the long term. According to Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Today so many people are fighting the war of behavioral health issues of addictions, mental health and suicide called (co-occurring disorders) and they are seeking hope through new integrative ways that could change their life.
The Harm Reduction theory:
So let’s look at addiction and mental health disorders using the theory from the stages of change as it relates to harm reduction.
- Pre-contemplation is: Not yet acknowledging that there is a problem that needs to be changed
- Contemplation is: Acknowledging that there is a problem, but not yet ready or sure of
wanting to make a change
- Determination is: Getting ready to change
- Action is: Changing behavior
- Maintenance is: Maintaining the behavior change.
Recently the medical health professionals are adding relapse as the six level of change. (You Think) The question is why not include or explore harm reduction as a therapy method for change such as:
Mindfulness is-a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique to get to a stage of acceptance.
Not everyone is able to share and discover their issues of life in a group. One-on-one therapy allows the person to dig deep with an qualified behavioral health professional to reach the help that is needed before attending group therapy.
Group therapy allows one to be able to share with others to gain a better understanding that
they are not alone!
No one wants to be an addict of any form. however what about those with co-occurring disorders?
Society must understand that addiction or mental health disorders or suicidal thoughts are issues that just do not go away. With harm reduction it gives those with behavioral health challenges a fighting chance to deal with the root of their problem instead of returning to risky behavioral. The time has arrived for society to understand that harm-reduction strategies are showing results in reducing HIV transmission in injecting drug users, sex-workers, those with eating disorders alcohol, gambling and more.
If we deal with harm reduction for those who suffer with co-occurring disorders issues of addictions, depression, bipolar, eating disorders, schizophrenia and suicide– just maybe the lives for our youth, young adults as well as the mature adults can be approached from a different stage wise level by accepting and moving forward in a realistic way.
I welcome your thoughts, wisdom and remarks on harm reduction