Improving outcomes with the use of harm reduction strategies

What is harm reduction

Harm reduction is a humane, bottom-up approach to minimise the negative impact of actions that involve risk to self or others. It is grounded in scientific view that when eliminating harm from such behaviours is not possible or desirable, reducing risk from such activities is a more achievable and pragmatic goal, which also respects individual rights and liberties.

What are some instances

 

Harm reduction is part of our daily lives—from using seatbelts, helmets and condoms to eating healthier food, we actively seek ways to minimise risk. As a public health strategy, harm reduction has helped reduce mortality and morbidity in pandemic response (masks, social distancing etc.), treatment of communicable diseases and addressing substance abuse.

Why is it often controversial

 

Abstinence-only strategies are easier to implement and morally appealing, whereas harm reduction accepts continuation of the activity to a degree and defines objectives as reducing adverse consequences. This is harder to design policies for, back with robust research and tougher to appeal to public conscience, even if it is more rewarding in outcomes.

What does HRPR do

We aim to bring clarity to harm reduction interventions by drafting public health policies, funding research and creating education and awareness opportunities in this field. HRPR seeks to build resources for policymakers, medical professionals, legal personal and the general public on the merits of harm reduction strategies and provide guidance on their implementation.