10 Harm Reduction Strategies for Alcoholics
Harm reduction is a new idea when it comes to alcohol use. Instead of prohibiting the use of alcohol and denying addicts what they crave, it focuses on reducing the harm that alcohol does to the addict and the community. These harm reduction strategies are designed to protect people rather than deny them. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, there are a number of harm reduction strategies that can be employed to help people who suffer from alcoholism.
1. Brief Interventions
Brief interventions are designed to change the thought patterns behind an individual’s drinking. A brief intervention is a short session where a counselor addresses the problems and issues with drinking as well as how to manage the problem in the least harmful way possible.
By educating people about safe drinking and the dangers associated with alcohol, harm reduction hopes to help people make responsible choices. This stops some of the issues with problem drinking or the person drinking in an unsafe way.
Harm reduction encourages moderation in drinking instead of total abstinence. This causes a person to watch how much they drink rather than trying to stop drinking all together. It recognizes drinking as a part of socializing in many aspects of culture.
By being mindful of your drinking and your drinking surroundings, you can reduce the risk of drinking too much or that drinking causing a problem. By practicing mindfulness you understand your are in control of what and how much you drink.
Harm reduction strategists are trying to come up with medications to help those who want to overcome alcoholism without the traditional methods of abstinence and 12 steps. These mediations reduce the harmful effects of alcohol.
6. Safe Drinking Strategies
By teaching safe drinking strategies, there is less of a chance of someone being hurt by drinking. Harm reduction is not about stopping alcohol use but teaching people to manage their alcohol use so they do not experience the harmful effects of alcoholism.
7. Changing Habits
Harm reduction teaches people how to change their drinking habits such as drinking when there is a need to drive or when they have to work in the morning.
8. Home Drinking
Although drinking at home has long been frowned upon, it is still the safest way to drink. There is no need to drive or to otherwise get into trouble while drinking if you are already at home.
When someone discovers that they have a problem with drinking, harm reduction suggests tapering drinking to an acceptable level rather than stopping suddenly. Not only does tapering stop the danger of alcohol withdrawal syndrome it stops people from relapsing due to alcohol cravings.
10. Seeking Help When Needed
Harm reduction techniques do not exclude traditional rehabs and other programs. It counsels people to seek help when they cannot practice safe drinking habits. For help finding a treatment center that believes in harm reduction call us at 800-839-1686.