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Ask Michelle - Questions & Answers about Meth Addiction and Recovery

  • Feb
    27

    Harm Minimization

    Question:
    What is harm minimization, and is it different from harm reduction? Are there any tips for harm minimization?

    Answer:
    This means the same as harm reduction. Until the drug user is able or willing to stop their use of drugs the goal is to minimize or reduce the harmful effects of drug use. Drug use is extremely dangerous in many ways and the goal of harm minimization or harm reduction is to teach those who aren't ready to stop, at least use them safer. Below are some of the harm minimizations or reduction safety goals.

    Injection:
    Using drugs is never good but injecting them is even more dangerous than ingesting, inhaling or smoking them because you risk infection, abscesses, blood clots, blood poisoning, gangrene and death. It's more dangerous to inject drugs into large veins like the neck or groin. If a person intends on injecting drugs in spite of the risks they can get advice and help through their local needle and syringe exchange.

    Sharing Needles:
    Syringes, filters, spoons and water should always be avoided to reduce the risk of HIV, Hepatitis B and C transmission. Ask your GP about Hepatitis B vaccination. Don't be tempted to use other people's "wash outs". It isn't just the needle that's dangerous; it's everything used for injecting that could pass on the virus.


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