Harm Reduction

People have different levels of motivation and not everyone wants total drug abstinence. Harm reduction is a set of practical strategies and ideas aimed at reducing negative consequences associated with drug use. Examples include a needle exchange program and Narcan, the overdose reversal medication.  Listen to a group of people who were dependent on opiates discuss harm reduction.

Discussion Guide:

Are you fully motivated to refrain from all substances of abuse, including cigarettes, marijuana and alcohol?

Do you believe you are safe when you use opiates? What could make your drug use safer?

Which substances are you interested in reducing or eliminating?

Which substances do you want to continue? Why?

Set two goals for yourself.  One goal is directly related to your substance abuse such as decreasing your use, or having a day of abstinence. And a second goal that is focused on wellness. It might be to add exercise, or  it could be about finding alternative activities to drug use.

Supplemental Reading:

Cynthia Hoffman, Harm Reduction Therapy Groups for Substance Misuse, https://www.thefix.com/harm-reduction-therapy-groups-substance-misuse

The University of New Mexico, Center on Alcoholism, Substance Abuse, and Addictions (CASAA) Readiness Ruler, http://casaa.unm.edu/inst/Readiness%20Ruler.pdf