The harm-reduction approach to therapy is a set of eight principles that center around meeting people where they are and slowly bringing them along to recovery. Treatment specialists recognize that not everyone is ready or capable of ending their addiction at a given time. Instead of assuming where an individual should be in their addiction recovery, therapists use evidence-based methods to treat the addiction symptoms.
Harm-reduction treatment programs can prevent addiction-related harm instead of helping the individual end their addiction. Programs offer education, resources, disease prevention, and medical care to those suffering from addiction and need help right away. A person who receives medical care for addiction may decide that it is time to enter a drug or alcohol rehab program. To learn more about our addiction treatment center approach, contact Colorado Medication Assisted Recovery today at 833.448.0127.
What Are the 8 Principles of the Harm Reduction-Approach?
The harm-reduction approach to treatment includes a variety of strategies that involve safer drug or alcohol use, managed use, full abstinence, and addressing medical conditions or mental health issues for drug or alcohol users. Programs operate on eight main principles.
Principle 1: Acceptance
Treatment professionals involved in mental health and behavioral treatment must first accept that prescription and illicit drug use is a part of their reality. Their primary goal is to minimize the harmful effects of drugs instead of ignoring or condemning them.
Principle 2: Understanding
Healthcare and mental health treatment professionals must understand that drug addiction is a complicated problem that involves various behaviors that range from severe use to abstinence. They must acknowledge that some ways of using substances are safer than others.
Principle 3: Wellness
Treatment professionals and facilities must first establish a treatment that enhances a person’s quality of life, not just addresses their addiction. Improving the quality of life needs to be the criteria used to assess and identify successful intervention and treatment.
Principle 4: Non-Coercive Services
Non-coercive and non-judgmental services must be offered to those who are struggling with addiction. This treatment may include services, such as:
- Medical treatment
- Clinical treatment
- Case management services
- Educational resources
Services must be designed to reduce any harm that may come to those who receive treatment. Recipients must not feel judged or pressured into receiving addiction treatment.
Principle 5: Empowerment
Those who are struggling with addiction or mental health issues must be allowed to contribute to the creation of addiction treatment therapies designed to help them recover. Those with addictions may have some ideas on how best to help them get clean and stay clean for life.
Principle 6: Affirmation
The harm-reduction approach affirms that people who use drugs are the primary people who reduce the harm drugs cause. Harm-reduction treatment empowers drug users to share information and support other users with strategies that meet their needs.
Principle 7: Recognition
Treatment professionals recognize that factors such as social inequality, sex-based discrimination, past trauma, social isolation, racism, class, and poverty all contribute to the vulnerabilities of those addicted to drugs. They also affect a person’s ability to deal with drug-related harm.
Principle 8: Acknowledgment
This type of treatment fully acknowledges the danger and harm that is associated with illicit drug use. In no way or form does it try to ignore or minimize the physical and mental impact of drugs.
Learn More at Colorado Medication Assisted Recovery
If you are struggling with addiction, you can get help for the harmful effects of drugs without feeling like we’re judging or alienating you. Contact Colorado Medication Assisted Recovery at 833.448.0127 today. We will discuss your condition, get answers to your questions about the harm-reduction approach, and explore your treatment options. We are here to help you get on the road to recovery.