Harm Reduction: Is it a Better Way of Overcoming Opiate Addiction?
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, no one type of treatment works best for everyone. This principle gives rise to a variety of treatment forms. One of the newer theories on the treatment of addiction is harm reduction. This type of treatment focuses on eliminating the addiction by eliminating the harm that the addiction does. This is particularly true for opiate addiction and methadone treatment.
What is Harm Reduction?
Harm reduction a way to minimize the harm that addiction does. It is a way to treat addicts like humans rather than their addiction. People who believe in harm reduction believe that by reducing the disparities between addicts and society. They believe by improving living conditions, overall happiness, social status, and income of those that are addicted there won’t be a need for the addiction.
What is the Purpose of Harm Reduction?
The purpose of harm reduction is to reduce the harm that a drug does to a person or community. People who believe in harm reduction believe in increasing the overall satisfaction in the lives of addicts they will stop using the drug. The goal of harm reduction is this improvement as well as the improvement of the community and addiction treatment.
Who Benefits from Harm Reduction?
Everyone involved benefits from harm reduction. The addict benefits by:
- Having access to clean needles and supplies for opiate use
- Having access to a safe environment to use drugs or to come off drugs
- Having access to affordable healthcare and opiate addiction treatment including access to methadone, an opiate replacement drug
The community benefits by:
- Not having people who use drugs in jail
- Not having people infect themselves with communicable diseases due to drug use
- Lower crime rates because of less drug activity
- Overall improvement of the community in general
These benefits only happen when the whole community is involved. By decriminalizing drug use and treating it like an illness, it cuts down on drug related crime. Most crimes are committed to the satisfy the need for drugs or drug paraphernalia. If that need no longer exists then the crime will drop.
Does Harm Reduction Coincide with Drug Treatment?
Harm reduction can coincide with drug treatment. Since harm reduction focuses on improving the lives of those addicted to drugs, drug treatment fits very well with the overall harm reduction philosophy. Successful drug treatment is one of the goals of harm reduction. Most people in drug treatment are exposed to a variety of forms of harm reduction without ever realizing it.
When you are in drug treatment, they use a variety of treatments to help you get off the opiates. Methadone is one of these treatments. Methadone stops opiate withdrawal. Once you are no longer in withdrawal, you find that you do not need the opiates anymore.
Where to Find Treatment Centers with Harm Reduction Techniques
If you are addicted to opiates and you want a nonjudgmental way to get off opiates, there are a variety of harm reduction clinics and treatment centers that can help. For more information on harm reduction and methadone treatment call us at 800-530-0431.