Harm Reduction Therapy aims to reduce the damage associated with drug use in individuals who are unwilling or unable to stop. It is mostly used for individuals who abuse psychoactive drugs. This therapy is different from other approaches because it focuses on preventing harm as opposed to preventing drug use. It is used for individuals who are still using drugs.
The harm reduction therapy is based on the realization that an individual is likely to continue to consume psychoactive drugs in spite of the efforts they make to prevent themselves from getting involved in drugs and continuing to use them. It accepts that as a drug user you are unwilling or unable to stop consuming drugs at any particular time.
Harm reduction therapy came into the limelight when it was discovered that injecting drug users were more likely to get HIV. And those who espouse this approach feel it is important to access quality treatment if your have drug problems. Since it is difficult to find treatment when you are unable or unwilling to practice abstinence, this therapy approach steps in where others won’t. And with it, caretakers attempt to give the user options that will help reduce the risks involved with continued drug use. It identifies ways to prevent you from harming others and yourself because of your drug use.
Attitudes and Techniques of Harm Reduction Therapy
This is a controversial approach in the treatment field since it is perceived as “giving up” or underestimating the human drive to be whole or doesn’t hold the drug addict accountable. For these reasons, most addiction approaches require you to stop taking the substance you are addicted to immediately and completely before you are allowed to participate in a treatment program. For example, most rehab processes begin with detox. If you fail to meet this requirement, you cannot be accepted.
Harm reduction therapy is an effective solution because it does not pick who needs help. This therapy helps you even if you are unable of stopping drug use immediately. The fact of recognizing that drug use exposes you to certain risks is considered a positive step, according to harm reduction therapy. If you are willing to reduce these risks, help should be forthcoming because it can lessen the harm that drug use exposes the individual to. And this is considered an improvement.
Practically speaking, if you usually get into bar fights when you go out drinking, this harm reduction therapy approach can help you identify safer places for you to take alcohol. In this case, you do not have to stop drinking, but by identifying a safer place, you are less likely to get involved in fights and this is considered an improvement because the risks are reduced. Harm reduction therapy does not expect you to be perfect. If you inject drugs, harm reduction therapy can help you access clean needles and ensure you do not share them to reduce HIV and hepatitis infection risks.
This therapy approach recognizes that individuals are capable of making significant improvements on their own. This is because you learn from your experiences and the pain that you have gone through in the past. Harm reduction therapy is based on the idea that drug habits are usually developed over a long time. For this reason, any positive changes that you make in your life will also take a while. It may take a lot of experimenting for you to discover the best approach for you to use to avoid taking drugs. This therapy guides you on this journey. It ensures that while you are trying to reduce and stop drug consumption, you are not exposing yourself to risks.
Harm reduction therapists work with you to help you achieve your life goals as you reduce risks. It will take time for you to learn how to take good care of yourself. This therapy accepts that you are imperfect but this does not mean the therapists endorse your drug use. The therapists will help you achieve greater success by recognizing and motivating you to achieve smaller successes.
During harm reduction therapy, you will learn how to take good care of yourself even as you continue using drugs. Realistic, positive lifestyle changes include proper nutrition, seeking medical attention when you identify a health problem, hygiene, avoiding infections, saving, finding a house, and following the law.
Harm reduction therapy encourages you to ensure you do not fall off the edge. The therapists help you improve your condition to allow you to reduce the risks posed by drug use.