How do we understand drug use? How are drugs related to our social worlds? How should drug use be understood, approached and dealt with? Insightful and illuminating, this book successfully discusses drugs in social contexts. In an elegant manner, the authors bring together their different theoretical and practical backgrounds, offering a comprehensive and interdisciplinary introduction that opens up a wide scientific understanding moving beyond cultural myths and presuppositions. Powerful and engaging, this book discusses main questions within the field of psychoactive drugs research, such as: Why do people take drugs? How do we understand moral panics? What is the relationship between drugs and violence? How do people's social positions influence their individual involvement in drug use? This is an invaluable reference source for students on criminology, sociology and social sciences programmes, as well as students and drug service practitioners in social work, social policy and nursing.
Chapter 26: Harm Reduction
Built on a public health approach to drug use, harm reduction involves undertaking initiatives to reduce possible harms associated with drug-taking practices in various risk environments. Harm reduction, unlike drug control/prohibition approaches, prioritises reducing harm from drug use rather than attempting to stop drug use altogether.
Harm reduction has been described as a principle, ideology, movement, policy, goal and set of interventions. Harm reduction applies both to illegal drugs such as heroin and crack cocaine, and legal drugs such as alcohol and tobacco. Harm reduction [Page 130]acknowledges that drug use can have damaging effects, but asserts that these need to be practically addressed rather than ignored or worsened. Harm reduction also acknowledges that some drug-using practices are safer than others and so seeks ...