Modern Culture

The psychedelic renaissance… joins the harm reduction movement

Harm reduction and integration overlap with regard to reducing the harm or ongoing risks of difficult or negative experiences with psychedelics (e.g., helping someone through heightened anxiety or suicidal ideation stemming from a difficult psychedelic experience). Harm reduction and integration can be further differentiated from “preparation” for therapeutic experiences. 

When [individuals] express an intention to consume a psychedelic or other drug, [why should we be] required to dissuade them from doing so[?] In fact, within the harm reduction approach, such attempts to control behavior are seen as unhelpful judgments that can produce stigma and shame, make it difficult for clients to be honest, create resistance that might increase risky behavior, weaken the therapeutic relationship, and increase the odds of clients terminating therapy. When a… [person] expresses they are using or intend to use a drug, harm reduction-oriented [people] will tend to 1) seek to understand the function of the drug… (What does it do for them? What do they get out of it?), 2) affirm the… autonomy to make that choice, so as not to promote resistance in the relationship, 3) practice radical acceptance and refrain from judgment of the behavior, 4) ask… if they are aware of the risks of their drug use and how to protect themselves (offering accurate information if the client is receptive), 5) ask… whether they dislike or are seeking to change their substance use in any way, while respecting their goals, and 6) offer, but not require, other approaches to achieve the same goals…

Original Article (by Chacruna):
 It’s time for the psychedelic renaissance to join the harm reduction movement
Artwork Fair Use by: Oliverbeatson

Modern Culture

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