Harm reduction, as defined by the Harm Reduction Coalition⬈, is a set of practical strategies and ideas aimed at reducing negative consequences associated with drug use. Harm Reduction is also a movement for social justice built on a belief in, and respect for, the rights of people who use drugs.
WHY HARM REDUCTION?
We believe people who use drugs are deserving of love, respect, support, and healthcare--just like everyone else!
The stigmatization and criminalization of drug use stops people from requesting or receiving services that could save or improve their lives.
We also believe that drug use in our society is inevitable, and that using drugs is not a moral failing. We hope to prevent HIV, Hepatitis, and overdose deaths in our community by meeting people where they’re at, and offering our services with no strings attached.
The War on Drugs hurts many people. It is helpful only to those who profit off the systems of mass incarceration and border control. We recognize that this war has and continues to disproportionately target Black communities.
These policies have resulted in lives being spent in prison and families being separated. We are committed to fighting against racialized criminalization laws and demanding justice for people of color who have been incarcerated because of them.
Harm reduction is an act of radical love! No one deserves to die or suffer because they use drugs.
MYTHS ABOUT HARM REDUCTION
MYTH #1: HARM REDUCTION CONDONES DRUG USE
Harm reduction neither condones nor condemns drug use, we simply provide non-judgemental support and resources.
MYTH #2: HARM REDUCTION IS ANTI-ABSTINENCE
Harm reduction is not anti-abstinence, but instead sees abstinence as one of many options for someone seeking support. We meet people where they are.
MYTH #3: HARM REDUCTION DISCOURAGES PEOPLE FROM SEEKING TREATMENT
According to the Center for Disease Control⬈, people who inject drugs are 5x more likely to seek and receive treatment for a substance use disorder if they are participating in a sterile syringe access program.