What are the different harm reduction strategies?

Harm reduction is an evidence-based public health approach that acknowledges certain risky behaviors, like drug use, may persist despite their known dangers.

Rather than focusing solely on abstinence, harm reduction aims to minimize the negative consequences of such behaviors.

This includes educating the public about tools to prevent overdoses, like fentanyl test strips, and naloxone, a life-saving medication used to reverse opioid overdoses


  • Young people are often in a position to influence the behavior of their friends and peers, so it’s important for them to know about harm reduction techniques.

  • Try saying something like “There are many everyday ways we work to reduce harm in our lives (in addition to drug use) such as using seatbelts, wearing helmets, and obeying traffic lights. This is a sensible way to think about drugs too - let’s discuss a few ways people can reduce the risk of harm when it comes to drug use.”

  • You might discuss things like not driving under the influence before talking about fentanyl test strips or naloxone.

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