Harm Reduction

Harm reduction is an approach that aims to reduce the risks that arise from alcohol and other drug use [33425]. The focus of harm reduction is on encouraging safer behaviours and settings, to prevent harms from alcohol and other drug use to the user, family members and the broader community.

Some examples of harm reduction programs are [34324]:

  • clean needle programs to reduce the risk of spreading blood borne viruses
  • mobile patrols to remove people from risky environments
  • overdose education programs
  • pharmacotherapies such as opioid substitution therapy or nicotine replacement therapy.

Harm reduction is one of three strategies (demand reduction, supply reduction and harm reduction) within the National Drug Strategy which is guided by an overall principle to minimise the harms from alcohol and other drug use [33425].

For information on preventing maternal smoking please see our Smoking and pregnancy portal. For information on regulation of tobacco please see the Regulation and control section in the Tobacco portal.

References

Key resources

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