Key Principles of Harm Reduction

Harm Reduction

Harm reduction is a set of practical public health strategies designed to reduce the negative consequences of drug use (and sex work) and promote healthy individuals and communities without necessarily reducing drug use 

Harm reduction recognizes the realities of poverty, class, racism, social isolation, past trauma, sex-based discrimination and other social inequalities affect vulnerability to and capacity for effectively dealing with drug-related harm 

Key Principles of Harm Reduction 

Designs and promotes public health interventions that minimize the harmful effects of drug use 

Understands drug use as a complex, multi-faceted issue that encompasses behavior from severe abuse to total abstinence 

Meets people where they are in the course of their drug use 

Affirms and empowers drug users and communities to be the primary agents of change 

Harm Reduction Programming 

Programming includes: 

Non-judgmental & low thresholds (don’t have to jump past a lot of barriers)

Sterile syringe access/pipe access

Goals of Harm Reduction 

Prevent Disease

Reduce Mortality