Sunday, May 29, 2011

Article - Harm reduction is God's grace

Harm reduction is God's grace

Please read the linked article (Harm reduction is God's grace) to understand what this post is about, as I've referred to the article as a basis to this post.

This article is about harm reduction and the connection with Christian faith. I've thought about this concept a lot since I began my training to become an Occupational Therapist, and also once I began practising. I have had co-workers outright threaten me when I've advocated for harm reduction, and I've also experienced shared views from co-workers in advocating to use a harm reduction approach. It is a controversial topic - one that I'm sure will continue to be a topic to be wrestled through. There is a time and place for this approach, and there are times when I would not advocate for this approach. However, I agree with the view shared in the article that there are times when harm reduction is living out God's grace. That where some people are at, this is the best approach to minimize damage and to still walk alongside them and care for them. I don't think I really thought through how this approach fits with my faith until I read this article but there were situations where this just seemed right. I didn't think through exactly how it fit with my faith, but in the back of my mind, I knew it did. When I read the article, I couldn't have put it in better words.

"As Christians we believe that God loves us no matter what and he sticks with us. We're told this through the story of Israel in the Bible of people who mess up and God stays with them. We're a continuation of that story."

"Harm reduction is a Christian way of living among people with addictions. Christians have often not understood harm reduction in that way. They've understood it as sin being encouraged."

For more information on Harm Reduction, follow the links below:

Harm Reduction Fact Sheets

Principles of Harm Reduction

Also, just to note, not only is harm reduction used for drug and alcohol related situations, but it is also used for potentially harmful lifestyles (e.g. providing condoms to sex trade workers).

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