What is Harm Reduction?

What is Harm Reduction or Safety Optimization?

Harm reduction is a compassionate approach to providing care that is respectful of bodily autonomy and the rights of people who use substances. It is about meeting the person where they are, and working on their personal wellness goals rather than abiding by a rigid and standardized concept of health. Harm reduction is commonly thought of in reference to treatment of opioid use disorder, but can be interpreted broadly as a way to approach any type of clinical care or community health advocacy.

Harm reduction is a research proven, pragmatic approach that grounds decisions in real world effectiveness versus clinical scenario efficacy. At ChemsexHarmReduction.org we discuss harm reduction as it applies to substance use, but it can just as easily be applied to people with multiple comorbidities who are "non-compliant" with therapies due to treatment fatigue. Harm reduction is about empowering the person with all the information so they can make informed decisions about their health, and what medical therapies and services health care providers might be able to offer them.