As we apply this approach to substance use, it is important to note that harm reduction does not encourage substance use, instead, it is an effective client-centered approach that offers a wide range of treatment options. This will equip individuals, who are struggling with substance use, with the proper tools to make an informed decision about their treatment plan; while also reducing the harms, through overdose prevention sites.
In addition to supervised injections, harm reduction, also, addresses the underlying issues and the structural factors that users encounter. A lot of the services that are provided through the harm reduction lens include housing, income, medical and counseling supports.
Many studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of harm reduction in reducing health risks and increasing users’ access to substance-related supports. Service providers taking this approach are non-judgmental, non-coercive, and respectful towards users’ autonomy. Due to the human nature of harm reduction, users feel safe and empowered to take action and choose treatments, medications, and health behaviors that best fit their needs.