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What is Harm Reduction?

Harm reduction incorporates a spectrum of strategies aimed at reducing the negative affects of drug use.

- Incorporating a spectrum  of strategies including safer techniques, managed use, and abstinence to promote the dignity and wellbeing of people who use drugs.  - A framework  for understanding structural inequalities like poverty, racism, homophobia, classism, etc.  - Meeting people  “where they are,” but not leaving them there.
- Provides a space for people  to be open about their drug use and sexual behavior so it’s not hidden, perpetuating feelings of isolation  - Values people and their  expertise so they feel empowered to determine and voice their own hierarchy of need and next steps are clear between provider and participant  - It is rooted in evidence-based practices  that have shown decreases in health and social harms  - Keeps individuals engaged  in care if they re-engage risk at any stage
- Risk Reduction:  Tools and services to reduce potential harm.  - (h)arm (r)eduction:  The approach and fundamentals to reduce potential harm.  - (H)arm (R)eduction:  A philosophical and political movement focused on shifting power and resources to people most vulnerable to structural violence.
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