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What is Harm Reduction?
It is a Social Movement; built on the belief in, and respect for, the rights of people who use drugs. It is a set of practical strategies and ideas aimed at reducing negative consequences associated with drug use.
Harm Reduction incorporates a spectrum of strategies from safer use, to managed use, to abstinence to meet drug users “where they’re at”, addressing conditions of use along with the use itself. Because harm reduction demands that interventions and policies designated to serve drug users reflect specific individual and community needs, there is no universal definition of or formula for implementing harm reduction. It is simply an idea of helping to diminish the harmful effects of substance abuse.
Here are some of the facts: There are an estimated 350,000 regular injection drug users in America - all at increased risk of contracting and spreading fatal blood-borne disease. And, approximately 950,000 U.S. residents are living with HIV/AIDS. Injection drug users are also at serious risk of contracting Hep B and Hep C. Hepatitis B infects between 140,000 and 320,000 people every year and kills between 5,000 to 6,000 people in the U.S. Hepatitis C infects about 36,000 people in the U.S. every year, killing 8,000 to 10,000 of those infected. Injection drug users who are afraid of being arrested while carrying drug paraphernalia are 1.74 times more likely to share syringes, and 2.08 times more likely to share injection supplies than other users.
There are always going to be people unwilling to seek treatment or unable to seek treatment but being aware of resources that can help minimize harm is a preventable measure.
There will always be a critic, viewing harm reduction programs as encouraging drug use and keeping people addicted. But It is our responsibility as a society to promote public safety.
Do you need clean syringes?
We have answers. Call or stop in to see us.
MWV Supports Recovery Coalition
1620 E Main St
Center Conway NH 03813
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