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The Ethics of Harm Reduction Medical Conditions or Criminal Law Harm Reduction as defined on the About the Harm Reduction Training Institute web page is an approach that aims to reduce the negative consequences of drug use through utilizing a full spectrum of strategies from safer drug use to moderation management to abstinence Oriented toward working with the whole person harm reduction programs and policies create environments and develop strategies for change that are practical humane and effective These programs meet their consumers where they are at to help them become more conscious of the harm in their lives and identify options for reducing those harms About the Harm Because harm reduction demands that interventions and policies are designed to serve drug users by reflecting on specific individual and community needs there is no universal definition or formula for implementing harm reduction Harm reduction accepts for better and for worse that licit and illicit drug use is part of our world and chooses to work to minimize its harmful effects rather than simply ignore or condemn them Working with addicts from a harm reduction perspective involves accepting that some people simply are not going to give up drugs at this time Offering them services nonetheless opens the door to helping these people reduce harm in some way even in an infinitesimal way that wouldnt otherwise occur Small reductions of harm are better than no reduction An open door policy can result in a harm reduction snowball effect Small improvement can pave the path for further reduction of drug use and an improved lifestyle in other ways This snowball effect can continue eventually to the point of abstinence Harm reduction also understands drug use as a complex multi-faceted phenomenon that encompasses a continuum of behaviors from severe abuse to total abstinence and acknowledges that some ways of using drugs are clearly safer than others One example is alcohol Drinking a glass of wine a
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