Harm reduction is an approach to help people explore their relationship with substances and behaviours. It works to reduce and mitigate damage and pain, and offers strategies to increase and promote safety, choice, and control. Harm reduction moves away from traditional understandings of “addiction” as a disease, and responses that are based on assumed morality and abstinence, or fear and punishment. This workshop explores the principles of harm reduction, how it works, and to whom it may apply. Participants will learn practical strategies for working with individuals, families, and communities within a harm reduction framework. This training will also explore how these concepts can be used in policy, procedure, and practice.

Some of the Topics Reviewed

  • What is Harm Reduction?
  • Guiding Principles of Harm Reduction
  • The Impact of Our Beliefs and Assumptions
  • The Importance of a Trauma-Informed Lens
  • An Integrated Approach to Health
  • A Relational Approach to Harm Reduction
  • Exploring What Needs Are Being Met
  • Working with People Where They are At
  • Measuring Motivation, Readiness, and Confidence
  • Strategies to Reduce Harm
  • Planning for Change
  • Rethinking Success
  • Working with Family and Friends

 

Target Audience

This is an intermediate level workshop intended for social service and health care professionals, counsellors, social workers, school personnel, and anyone seeking a better understanding of the harm reduction framework.

Method of Delivery

Presentation, video, case study exercises, personal reflection, and small group discussions.

Learning Objectives:

At the end of this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Differentiate between traditional approaches to “addictions” and a harm reduction approach
  • List qualities and values needed to practice within a harm reduction model
  • Describe a relational framework for working with a person’s use of substances and behaviours
  • Apply a variety of practical strategies to reduce harm