Goal 3: Good Health & Well-being
Addiction carries many risks that often go overlooked.
Harm reduction aims to reduce these risks through a variety of programs. Safe consumption sites, acute care programs and safe housing are all examples of harm reduction initiatives targeting those struggling with addiction in their daily lives. These programs aim to be a first step towards recovery and, while they may not explicitly state that an individual should stop using drugs, the goal is to create a connection so those struggling with addiction may one day choose to move towards detox and recovery. Stigma, economic status and government policy, however, have massive and lasting effects on harm reduction programs. The existence of some harm reduction programs is controversial, and different ideologies feed into multiple different barriers. These barriers stem from different beliefs and realities and exist on an individual, organizational and legislative level.
I’ve worked in the evidence-based health care industry for the last two summers. With the current news on supervised consumption sites and the changes made to combat the opioid crisis, I found the topic of harm reduction relevant, necessary and fitting given my previous work.