Talkspace Discusses Harm Reduction: An Alternative Approach To Managing Addiction

Many people who get into drugs do so for various reasons. Some are drawn because of peer pressure while others out of curiosity. But what most of them fail to realize is that getting into drugs is not as simple as getting out.

Sometimes it starts as a simple puff or just one sip but later turns out to be something that you can’t control. Those who become addicted always say that they didn’t intend to get deeply into drugs. Some get to a point where they can’t completely survive without smoking or drinking.

What is harm reduction?

Whenever we hear words such as “recovery” and “addiction”, most people imagine the 12-step model that was founded in 1935.

However, for the past few decades, there have been alternatives ways of recovery. One such method is “harm reduction”. It is a model that has become more popular because of its effectiveness.

Harm reduction can be described as a focus on minimizing the effects of substance use. Instead of trying to stop or prevent the use of drugs or alcohol, this method incorporates a series of strategies that comprise safer usage and management.

Harm reduction isn’t a new idea parse. Although the term can be traced back to 1987, the concept of reducing the harm brought by substance use became more popular in the 1920s. In 1996, the International Harm Reduction Association (IHRA) was founded.

Since then, medical professionals and therapists have continued to use this method to help addicts deal with substance abuse. Talkspace is one of the platforms where this method is often used to assist patients to recover.

Principles of harm reduction

There are four principles of harm reduction listed by the IHRA. Two of these principles exemplify a non-judgmental approach as far as addiction management is concerned.

  1. The approach appreciates the fact that permitted and prohibited drugs are part of life and opt to work on reducing harmful effects instead of condemning or ignoring them
  2. Takes drug use as a complex and multi-faceted phenomenon that comprises a range of behaviors from excessive use to complete abstinence and acknowledges the fact that there are safer ways of using drugs than others
  3. One major misconception about Harm Reduction is that it encourages or tolerates the use of drugs but the eighth principle demystifies this misconception.
  4. Harm Reduction doesn’t try to reduce or disregard the great harm and danger associated with the illicit use of drugs.

Crystal clear

The founder of Crystal Clear Program and clinical psychologist, Joseph Ruggiero is one of the main proponents of Harm Reduction. He has worked in the area of drug addiction for over two decades.

There are several professionals and therapists from Talkspace and other fields that have used this method to help drug addicts across the country.

Recovery takes commitment

The Harm Reduction model has helped a lot of people to manage substance use and quit drugs completely. However, this model requires a significant commitment on the part of the individual.

Seeking help from different sources such as Talkspace can play a big role in the recovery process.