Sample Term Paper

Harm reduction is based on six main principles. The first is the acceptance that drug use is a complex phenomenon encompassing behaviors from abstinence to chronic dependence with varying degrees of social and personal harm and that its benefits must be taken into account. The second is a non-judgmental emphasis placed on personal choice, responsibility and self-management. The third is a focus on decreasing the negative effects of the drugs on the user. The fourth is to ensure access to a broad range of prevention or treatment therapies. The fifth is the focus on developing a series of gains in the individual in terms of a healthier life. The final one is the active participation of the drug user and to realize his competency to make his own choices for a better life (P., 2001).

In order to achieve these objectives harm reduction uses a variety of strategies to ensure its effectiveness. They educate drug users not only on the risks associated with drug use but also techniques such as how to inject safer and promote the use of condoms. They also have outreach programs which not only impart information about the incidence of HIV and hepatitis C among drug users but also encourage them to seek out medical services by providing them access to such facilities. Their support services have minimal requirements for participation. They do not force abstinence on drug users rather they work towards stabilizing the health of individuals while reducing drug related negative side effects. Discretionary measures are also employed to ensure that drug users will seek help without fear of legal action against them.

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