Most people have come across the term before, but not everybody knows how common it is — or what it looks like in practice.
In short, harm reduction is common sense. It’s measures you take to ensure people’s safety even if they’re doing something dangerous, like safety gear on a rollercoaster.
As a movement, though, harm reduction in the United States focuses on drug use and has very specific roots.
Let’s get into it.
The National Harm Reduction Coalition defines it as a “set of practical strategies...aimed at reducing negative consequences associated with drug use.”
Harm reduction can also refer to broader movements around the rights of drug users.