Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: May 28, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963930 | Print ISBN: 9781412941655 | Online ISBN: 9781412963930| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Harm Reduction Drug Policy
Lana D. Harrison
Harm reduction is a broad term applied to a variety of programs and policies, so there is no clear consensus on its meaning, although its aim is to reduce the adverse consequences of drug use and even of drug control policies. The term originated in the Netherlands in response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic and is the cornerstone of not only Dutch drug policy but drug policy throughout most of the industrialized world (other than the United States). Harm reduction is a pragmatic policy aimed at minimizing the damage that drug users do to themselves, other persons, the community, and society at large. Harm reduction approaches reject a drug-free society as unachievable, recognizing that ...