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Harm Reduction, Public Health

Harm reduction refers to strategies designed to minimize the negative consequences of drug use. There is an acknowledgement that both legal and illicit drug use is a reality and cannot be totally eliminated. Furthermore, harm reduction proponents believe that there are differences in the level of safety among the various methods of using drugs, and they believe that drug users should be assisted to use drugs in the safest manner possible.

Rationale

Promoters of harm reduction strategies begin with the assumption that drug use can never be eliminated from any society. Consequently, it makes little sense to use the legal system to punish drug users because these sanctions do not produce the desired results and they cause harm in the process. Although many people would like to ...

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