ISSUE: HARM REDUCTION
STATEMENT: Harm reduction is a set of practical strategies aimed at reducing the negative consequences associated with drug use. Harm reduction incorporates a spectrum of strategies from safer use, to managed use, to abstinence to work to minimize the harmful effects of drug abuse. Drug use is a complex, multi-faceted phenomenon that encompasses a continuum of behav-iors from severe abuse to total abstinence and some ways of using drugs are clearly safer than others. MHAI supports the non-judgmental provision of services and best practices to people who use drugs and the communities in which they live in order to assist them in re-ducing attendant harm.
MHAI supports access to naloxone by individuals, family members, first responders and community organizations to reduce overdose deaths from drug abuse. MHAI will also support needle exchange programs when such are designed to reduce the incidence of HEP C and HIV. MHAI recognizes that Harm Reduction is an important first step that must be followed with comprehensive treatment and recovery.
PRIORITY LEVEL: III