The primary principle of harm reduction is to “meet users where they are,” rather than to demand immediate ces- sation. Based on this principle, individuals engaging in risky behavior are encouraged to use safer techniques and modify behaviors, which may ultimately be pathways to abstinence or cessation.
R Sheet on General Harm Reduction
- 1) American lawmakers have traditionally discouraged risky behaviors with abstinence-only approaches.
- 2) These approaches have proven largely ineffective on a population level.
- 3) Harm reduction approaches are more successful in that they are individually centered and aim to “meet people where they are.”
- 4) Harm reduction does not ignore or minimize the risks associated with certain behaviors.
- 5) Existing harm reduction programs have been proven to decrease infectious disease transmissions, reduce smoking rates and improve public health outcomes.
- 6) Lawmakers should look to harm reduction as an important tool to address public health crises.