Harm Reduction Coalition
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Harm Reduction Coalition

Harm Reduction Coalition

The Harm Reduction Coalition is a quarterly meeting discussing health and wellness of people who inject drugs.  The Coalition’s goals include:

  • Increase provider and community awareness about issues facing people who inject drugs
  • Engage people who inject drugs in their care and wellness
  • Promote principles of Harm Reduction

For more information or to attend a meeting contact the Prevention Manager at 541.342.5088.

 

 

Philosophy of Harm Reduction

harm reduction philosophy

Harm Reduction is a public health philosophy that seeks to empower individuals, remove barriers to accessing the support that they need, and supply pragmatic approaches to risk reduction in a non-judgmental/non-coercive way that is compassionate and accepting of any positive change.  Harm Reduction supports a wide spectrum of strategies from doing the behavior more safely, to limiting certain behaviors, to abstinence.

Principles of Harm Reduction include:

  • Meeting the client where they are, using programs designed for the community being served.
  • Non-judgmental and non-coercive services are provided to clients in the communities and places where they are comfortable and safe in order to empower them to reduce the attendant harm.
  • Accepts that drug use is part of our world and chooses to work to minimize its harmful effects on the people using drugs, rather than ignore or condemn those individuals.
  • Understands that drug use and behavior change are complex and multifaceted. They include a continuum of behaviors from severe abuse to total abstinence.
  • It acknowledges that some drug use methods are safer than others, and respects each individual’s drug use choices.
  • Ensures that people who inject drugs and those with a history of drug use routinely have a real voice in the creation of programs and policies designed to serve them.
  • Affirms that people who inject drugs are the primary agents responsible for reducing the harm from their drug use, and seeks to empower them to support each other and share information.
  • Recognizes that the realities of poverty, class, racism, social isolation, past trauma, sex-based discrimination and other social inequities affect both people’s vulnerability to and capacity for dealing with drug-related harm.
  • Does not attempt to minimize or ignore the real or tragic harm and dangers associated with licit and illicit drug use.

 Despite evidence from many studies that syringe exchange programs are highly cost-effective ways to prevent HIV and have not been found to increase drug use, harm reduction programs continue to be heavily contested here in the US and around the world. On a global basis, about $100 billion is spent annually on the war on drugs. Research by Harm Reduction International indicates that if even as little as 7.5% of this $100 billion is redirected to harm reduction programs, by 2030 there would be 94% fewer new HIV infections among people who inject drugs. HIV Alliance is the only agency providing comprehensive syringe exchange programs in Lane, Douglas, and Josephine Counties, but we need your help to continue doing so. Please consider making a small donation today. With each dollar, we are able to purchase 10 new syringes. It truly makes a difference. Click here and be the difference!

Copyright 2015 HIV Alliance.

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