With the dramatic increase in opioid-related deaths and growing evidence of the benefits of harm reduction in supporting individuals living with, and families impacted by, substance use, we recognize the need to reaffirm our support for integrating harm reduction into the care RNs and NPs provide.
Harm reduction strives to reduce the consequences of actions that have an increased risk of negative health outcomes.
Within the context of substance use, harm reduction refers to policies, programs and practices that aim to reduce the adverse health, social and economic consequences of legal and illegal psychoactive drug use without necessarily reducing drug consumption. Harm reduction benefits people who use drugs, their families and the community (CNA, 2017).
Harm reduction in Alberta (page 23)
To learn more about harm reduction within the context of substance use and its implications for nursing practice: