Harm Reduction Model

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Harm Reduction is a style of treatment not widely used in the United States. When a person dealing with an alcohol or drug addiction becomes involved, this program is simple.

With a little guidance, it asks for a list of your life priorities, then a list of how your alcohol or drug addiction is limiting you from getting what you want. Be sure to look at your relationships, money, career, recreation and spirituality. Does you addiction follow you? Are you preoccupied where ever you go?

If so, this type of addiction recovery program has you go through your list and start making self imposed limits involving your substances. Setting budget and time boundaries are also involved. At a time when you have no other responsibilities this method allows moderate engagement in whatever substance you are dealing with.

Involvement in this type of program requires exercising restraint. The following is a short example of how you can draft a plan for overcoming alcohol and drug addiction using the harm reduction method, with an example plan.

Keep in mind this example is only a brief outline. You should seek professional help before drafting your own harm reduction plan.

Harm Reduction Model (Example)

Call a local treatment center and see what recovery method they specialize in. (You can request either an alcohol addiction or drug abuse assessment and there are a variety of groups. Many treatment centers also have abuse groups for people who are not yet dependent. Some private counselors specialize in alternative models, finding information about a local counselor to draft your personal addiction recovery plan is also an option.)

Make a budget of not more than $25 per week for beer after the bills are paid.

Only drink at home and make sure someone else has your keys so you don’t drive or put lives in danger.

Put a limit to no more than three drinks at a time. That way you will lessen the possibility of having a blackout. A blackout would make you more tempted to drive and get more. (A blackout does not mean you pass out. It means you loss control of what you are doing and you can’t remember all the details the next day.)

Do not go to bars as they cost more and you will tend to drink more and drive home.

Save extra money you would have spent for drinking, to find a sober, fun activity or spend time with family. Engage in a hobby to divert you from drinking.

Find new activities where alcohol is not served.

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