Addiction has been identified as a chronic illness, with its effects running across generations and making it one of the most challenging mental health problems to treat. Conventional approaches often result in poor outcomes and high rates of relapse. Harm-reduction strategies recognize that abstinence isn’t always an attainable goal and that most people will continue to use substances despite receiving help from an array of services. Instead of abstinence, integrative harm-reduction therapy focuses on valuable incremental changes that can minimize the potential for harm.
Instead of simply targeting associated risk factors (such as sexual risks, car accidents, etc), we also intervene at the pre-action stage by:
- Assessing the risk of harm
- Aligning therapeutic practices to meet you where you are at this point, and
- Decreasing your resistance by addressing ambivalence towards change
Harm reduction as an approach is associated with enhancement of self-confidence and motivation to bring about further positive changes.