Episode 45 – Abstinence Versus Harm Reduction

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Episode 45 – Abstinence Versus Harm Reduction

Some nuggets from this episode

  • Abstinence may not be a viable option for everyone caught up in addiction (at least not right now). In such cases, harm reduction programs could be a viable alternative.
  • Harm reduction can improve the life of a drug abuser enough that this individual is then in a position to choose abstinence.
  • Harm reduction does is not the same as harm removal. We believe that abstinence (no longer using any recreational drug) is the best solution for anyone dealing with addiction issues.

A conversation between Chris and Paul Garrigan

In this episode of the podcast, we discuss the differences between harm reduction and abstinence as approaches for dealing with addiction. Here at Hope, we believe that abstinence offers the best solution for those struggling with addiction issues, but is there a place for harm reduction? Some might say that harm reduction ‘enables’ those abusing drugs to keep doing what they are doing, but there is a strong argument for why this approach saves lives and can lead people eventually to abstinence.

Press play below to listen to this week’s show.

Topics covered in this week’s show include:

  • What is the difference between harm reduction and abstinence?

  • Is it fair to say that most clients have been practicing harm reduction before they came to rehab?

  • Is there a more structured way of doing harm reduction?

  • Isn’t it important to recognize that it is always harm reduction rather than harm removal?

  • Could harm reduction get in the way of a full recovery?

  • Could promoting abstinence be unfair or inappropriate?

  • Is abstinence a possibility for everyone?

  • Is the problem addiction or the fact that people are addicted and don’t want to be addicted?

  • Could harm reduction give people the motivation for abstinence?

  • On what basis would you recommend harm reduction?

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