Paper Title

[1.2] Harm Reduction is About Reducing Harm

Location

Arts & Education Building 260, Moderated by Ginny Ratsoy

Start Date

18-1-2019 2:00 PM

End Date

18-1-2019 3:15 PM

Disciplines

Political Science | Social and Behavioral Sciences | Social Work | Sociology

Presentation Type

Presentation

Abstract

Although the visibility of addiction, overdose death, and harm reduction have increased exponentially over the last few years, knowledge regarding these issues has not increased, for the majority of society. A lot of people in today’s world still live in the dark when it comes to the reasons why people become addicted to psychoactive substances, although a great deal of information exists. Many of the individuals who suffer from the affects of addiction and the policies surrounding it, also suffer from the stigmatization they receive from their fellow citizens. Most people would concur that as a society we should become more knowledgeable and progress from generation to generation; in the case of addiction and psychoactive substances, the opposite seems to be happening, at the very least, we are not progressing. Harm reduction has been a useful method for helping those suffering from addiction, and drug users as well, to remain as healthy as possible and not be exposed to unneeded harms, unrelated to substance use and abuse. However, the purpose behind harm reduction, in many cases, appears to be unknown to those who are unfamiliar with drug use. Looking at some of the letters to the editor that have been written to Kamloops This Week over the last few years, shows that many people, including our current mayor, are lost in regard to how harm reduction is helping, and has been proven to help. I am about as familiar as one person can be in relation to how harm reduction practices are beneficial and necessary for communities around the world. I struggled with addiction, to almost every substance known, for seventeen years, and I believe I would not be the person I am, standing here today if not for harm reduction. For this paper, I will discuss some of the reasons why humans become addicted to psychoactive substances, why harm reduction is needed, and how this relates to my own experiences for more than two decades.

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Jan 18th, 2:00 PM Jan 18th, 3:15 PM

[1.2] Harm Reduction is About Reducing Harm

Arts & Education Building 260, Moderated by Ginny Ratsoy

Although the visibility of addiction, overdose death, and harm reduction have increased exponentially over the last few years, knowledge regarding these issues has not increased, for the majority of society. A lot of people in today’s world still live in the dark when it comes to the reasons why people become addicted to psychoactive substances, although a great deal of information exists. Many of the individuals who suffer from the affects of addiction and the policies surrounding it, also suffer from the stigmatization they receive from their fellow citizens. Most people would concur that as a society we should become more knowledgeable and progress from generation to generation; in the case of addiction and psychoactive substances, the opposite seems to be happening, at the very least, we are not progressing. Harm reduction has been a useful method for helping those suffering from addiction, and drug users as well, to remain as healthy as possible and not be exposed to unneeded harms, unrelated to substance use and abuse. However, the purpose behind harm reduction, in many cases, appears to be unknown to those who are unfamiliar with drug use. Looking at some of the letters to the editor that have been written to Kamloops This Week over the last few years, shows that many people, including our current mayor, are lost in regard to how harm reduction is helping, and has been proven to help. I am about as familiar as one person can be in relation to how harm reduction practices are beneficial and necessary for communities around the world. I struggled with addiction, to almost every substance known, for seventeen years, and I believe I would not be the person I am, standing here today if not for harm reduction. For this paper, I will discuss some of the reasons why humans become addicted to psychoactive substances, why harm reduction is needed, and how this relates to my own experiences for more than two decades.