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Home > Many of us will celebrate (or cope) this Christmas by using drink or drugs to excess.

[thejournal.ie] Many of us will celebrate (or cope) this Christmas by using drink or drugs to excess. (24 Dec 2014)

URL: http://www.thejournal.ie/readme/drink-drugs-christ...


What is ‘harm reduction’?

From a practical perspective, harm reduction is simply working to reduce the negative consequences associated with drug use. It is not incompatible with abstinence, but recognises that abstinence may not be a realistic goal for all people at all times.

At the Ana Liffey Drug Project, we do a lot of harm reduction work. Many of our clients are polydrug users, often living chaotic and troubled lives. Many, for whatever reason, do not see themselves as having the internal resources to stop using drugs by themselves; equally, they generally do not meet the criteria required to access intensive residential treatment services.

Overdose is a constant presence – on average, about one person per day dies of overdose in Ireland – and Christmas and New Year are, understandably, an emotional time for many of our clients. There are many reasons for this including isolation from family and loved ones and a feeling of exclusion as people see others enjoying the festive season.

We typically see an increase in both fatal and non-fatal overdoses during this period.

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