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WHY HARM REDUCTION MATTERS

What is harm reduction and why it matters

KEEP CALMHarm reduction is about practical measures and policies that reduce the harm that people do to themselves or others from their drug use. The term emerged in the 1980s in the UK in response to cases of HIV among injecting drug users and the development of needle syringe exchange schemes.

The opposite can be said of primary prevention which tries to prevent people using drugs in the first place, or to stop them using once they’ve started. The focus of harm reduction focuses is on ‘safer’ drug use rather than telling people "just say no." You may be old enough to remember Nancy Reagan who said (now famously) in 1986 "And when it comes to drugs and alcohol just say NO."

Harm reduction has its share of supporters and critics. On one hand: it promotes and/ or condones drug use. On the other: it's realistic, helps keep drug users safe(r), respecting individual choices and freedoms.

Harm reduction initiatives include needle exchange schemes, drug consumption rooms, drug testing at festivals and in clubs, and providing information on safer drug use.

In relation to the Gay Men's Health Collective, examples of this include this rarther large drugs section from MEN R US, safer chemsex packs from PIP PAC, and safer injecting films from THREE FLYING PIGLETS.


What is harm reduction? | AIDS Action Europe Berlin | 22 Nov 2018 | 3m 34s

What is harm reduction? | Harm Reduction International
Basic harm reduction | Release
What is harm reduction? | Drugwise
Harm reduction | Wikipedia
HIV roots of harm reduction | Drug and Alcohol Findings


Why the war on drugs is a huge failure | Kurzgesagt: In a Nutshell | 1 Mar 2016 | 6m 26s

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