Harm Reduction: A Necessity Everywhere.
(Las Cruces) -What is harm reduction? Those two words don’t seem to make sense together when you think about it. It sounds really confusing, because life teaches us that if we encounter anything harmful, it must be avoided, not reduced. Sticking your hand in a campfire should be avoided, not reduced to sticking your hand over a lighter.
Harm reduction is about something more complicated than just saying, “Don’t.” The strategy is best applied to situations where one feels harm cannot be avoided, so extra caution is taken during risky activity.
Many of us practice harm reduction when we drive. I did it last week when I pulled out my sunglasses and put them on; not because I wanted to look cool, but because I didn’t want to get blinded by the setting sun.
According to the National Institutes of Health, harm reduction is a public health strategy that was developed initially for adults with substance abuse problems for whom abstinence was not realistic. This approach has been effective in reducing incident and death rates among adults. More recently, it has been successfully applied to sexual health education in an attempt to reduce both teen pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV.
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