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What Is the Harm Reduction Model?

The harm reduction model is a set of principles and strategies for addressing substance use and those who engage in it. Essentially, its purpose is to minimize the negative consequences of substance use and to make prevention and recovery services accessible to those individuals. 

Why the Harm Reduction Model Is Effective

Research has shown that harm reduction strategies are effective from an individual and public health standpoint. The following are examples of the positive outcomes associated with a harm reduction approach:

What Do Harm Reduction Strategies Look Like?

Harm reduction philosophy takes a realist approach to substance use. Rather than trying to eliminate substance use altogether, harm reduction acknowledges the existence and widespread use of substances. A harm reduction approach revolves around meeting individuals who use substances where they are and acknowledging their need for safety and dignity. In practice, this might look like:

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