This all day workshop will introduce participants to the principles and practices of harm reduction, explore the wide applicability of the approach and discover its benefits for individuals and their communities.
Harm reduction is set of practical strategies and ideas aimed at reducing the negative consequences associated with risky behaviors, such as drug and alcohol use and unsafe sex. Harm reduction interventions are non-judgmental and non-coercive and are grounded in the needs and goals of an individual. As such, harm reduction services are designed to meet people’s needs where they currently are in their readiness to change risky behavior.
The objective of harm reduction in a specific context can often be arranged in a hierarchy with the more feasible options at one end e.g. measures to keep people healthy and less feasible but desirable options at the other end. Abstinence can be considered a difficult but desirable option for harm reduction. In the context of people with serious substance use disorder, keeping them alive and preventing irreparable damage is regarded as the most urgent priority while it is acknowledged that there may be many other important priorities.
Upon completion of this program, participants will be able to
- List 5 principles of Harm Reduction
- Describe at least 10 Harm Reduction strategies
- Describe how Harm Reduction can benefit individuals and communities
- Assess their own agency/ organization already incorporates harm reduction strategies, and describe how to integrate these strategies into their program at various points while working with clients
MA Department of Public Health, Bureau of Substance Addiction Services & AdCare Educational Institute, Inc.