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Harm reduction.docx

3 Pages

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PSYC 3403
John Weekes

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Harm reduction Harm reduction is an attempt to reduce the harms associated with drug abuse It’s a user-driven approach that rejects traditional abstinence-only approaches. It allows for client choice in treatment and recognizes the realities of substance abuse—that some users either can’t or won’t quit. Harm reduction fundamentally recognizes and understands the realities and challenges associated with behavior change for humans. (try, fail, try, fail) Harm reduction has also been shown to reduce the spread of HIV and HEP-C and other drug-related illnesses. Examples of harm reduction Needle exchange programs  Clean needles for dirty needles Supervised/safe injection sites  IV drug users are given a safe place to inject street heroin in the presence of medical professionals. Prescribed heroin  NAOMI (North American Opiate Medication Initiative) This program gives prescription heroin to heroin addicts. Safer crack pipes  Crack pipes can apparently get too hot and burn your mouth “Wet shelters”  These are homeless shelters where residents are given an alcoholic drink every hour. Tobacco alternatives  Smokeless tobacco UN conventions that affect harm reduction  Canada is a member of the international narcotics control board. By having safe injection sites and the Naomi project, Canada is in violation of international convention because we are “enabling” illegal drug use.  The way we get around this is by classifying safe injection sites as “medical research.” The 1961, UN single convention on narcotic drugs says that signatory countries must ensure that drugs are used only for medical or scientific purposes. Needle exchange program  Delivers clean needles to IDUs  Attempts to reduce sharing of dirty needles and the spread of blood borne pathogens  Exchanges dirty gear for clean gear  The city of Ottawa also distributes clean fixing gear
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