Harm Reduction


Harm Reduction refers to policies and practices that aim primarily to reduce adverse health, social, and economic consequences of high risk behaviors and benefits people engaging in high-risk behaviors as well as their families and communities.

  • an approach based on a strong commitment to public health and human rights;
  • a targeted approach that focuses on specific risks and harms;
  • an evidence-based and cost-effective approach which is practical and feasible;
  • an incremental approach that is facilitative rather than coercive and is grounded in the needs of the individual;
  • an approach that requires practitioners to accept youth as they are and avoid being judgmental;
  • an approach that requires open, honest dialogue between all stake holders;
  • an approach that recognizes the value of all persons regardless of what behaviors they exhibit; and,
  • an approach that acknowledges ANY positive change an individual makes.

  • RHYTTAC, Presenter, Cassidy, TC “Harm Reduction, Positive Youth Development, and Trauma Informed Care: What are they and How do they Operationalize in Youth Serving Programs” January, 2013. PowerPoint.