What Is Harm Reduction for Drug Addiction, and Does This Approach Work?
Harm reduction is a method to help prevent overdose and the spread of disease due to drugs such as substances that are abused through injection. Harm reduction programs are becoming more prominent, because it has become harder to get people to treatment, and the amount of accessible treatment facilities may not always be available. Harm reduction programs will operate with downtown cores of major cities. The facilities will be set up with safe and monitored places where addicts can use drugs and be monitored in the event there is an overdose.
This is especially important for heroin and other opiates that can cause overdose and immediate death. Other harm reduction programs are mobile units that will offer needle-exchange programs or providing clean pipes for crack cocaine or crystal meth. This process is there to help prevent the spread of disease such as HIV or hepatitis, and has been successful, but these services will also assist addicts who may have overdosed, which is very common for many addicts living on the street. Harm reduction services will also help addicts find treatment and get into a detox program. Most of the harm-reduction services will have resources they can access if someone is wanting help. Harm reduction does work, but it is important that addicts or anyone struggling with a substance abuse problem finds help and understands the importance of getting treatment.