Safer Drug Use & Overdose Prevention
Safer drug use education is a pillar of the harm reduction approach to substance use. As we acknowledge that drug use is a reality of human existence; and that prohibition and criminalization has had disastrous social and health consequences, including shame, infectious disease, and skyrocketing overdose mortality; it is important that individuals choosing to use substances have the knowledge and materials needed to stay as safe as possible. This allows individuals to have self-determination and avoid the worst negative consequences of substance use and hopes to promote a functional and balanced relationship with substances for as long as a person chooses to use them. As professionals, sharing this information with clients fosters a strong therapeutic alliance based on non-judgment and unconditional positive regard. Developing these relationships can also foster greater engagement in supportive services and positive outcomes for our clients.