What is a Harm Reduction Coaching?
Substance abuse is objectively dangerous. This sentiment isn’t exclusive to the side effects or substances themselves – though they are major risk factors – but the practices utilizing them are risky. Dirty needles, overdosing, over-drinking, and overindulgence in a substance of any kind, are risk factors that have many considering differing solutions to addiction treatment. It can be difficult to be 100% sober and leaving people to find dangerous ways to relapse into old habits could only make the solution worse. If they had a safe, comfortable environment in which they could be monitored and protected, it would help even if only slightly. This is the role that a Harm Reduction Coach plays in addiction treatment – whether they disagree or agree with the decision – they ensure the client can be kept in good hands.
According to The Addictions Academy certification site on the subject, harm reduction is “a scope of general public health policies intended to lessen the unsafe results connected with different human practices, both lawful and illicit. Harm reduction strategies are utilized to oversee practices, for example, recreational drug use and sexual activities in various settings that range from services to geographical districts. This class will include discussion and education on clean needle programs and safe injection sites, Medically Assisted treatments, and Opioid Use Disorder protocols (MAT) like Suboxone, Methadone, and Vivitrol. Included in this class is also discussion and education on Cannabis and Medical Marijuana, controlled drinking, porn/sex reduction (prostitution/HIV/sex workers), food and sugar addiction, gambling and gaming, and more.
In other words, it’s like a haven for those in recovery who are looking for a safe place to indulge or cope. The largest goal of harm reduction is to meet the client where they are in real-time. The second goal is to reduce harm, for example, clean needle programs have reduced HIV by 18% and MAT has reduced opiate overdoses by 50% according to the CDC.
How to Become a Harm Reduction Coach
Becoming a harm reduction coach is a simple process, but success is less a matter of becoming one and more so reliant on becoming a pickable harm reduction coach. There are no prerequisites to the job, but if you want to be successful, you’ve got to get certified. It’s hard for any potential client or employer to put any faith in their coach without a 100% guarantee that that coach knows his or her craft.
So – how does one get their certification? Well luckily, as is the case with the job itself, there are no mandatory prerequisites. For example, if we were to go back to The Addictions Academy, they have a highly acclaimed certification course filled to the brim with extra goodies and materials that give it an astounding amount of value.
It’s hosted by Cali Estes, a well-esteemed Addictions Coach with worldwide acclaim and success. As the founder of the company, she knows the ins and outs of addiction treatment and offers exclusive valuable insight into not only this course but the entirety of addiction treatment.
The course covers a broad range of subjects over its 10-hour length, including medically assisted therapy programs, needle exchange programs, safe injection sites, opioid replacement treatments, cannabis, sugar, food, nutrition, porn, sex, gaming, and social media harm reduction. This isn’t even the tip of the iceberg in terms of content, and it’s not even all you get with the course. There’s also an ethics course to ensure safe practices, 10 weeks of mentorship to nail the basics and dull any sharp edges, exams, manuals, job board listings, a chance to join Cali’s highly renowned Addictions Coach team, and of course the certification itself. On top of that, it’s an individualized course that you can take at your own pace, or you can take a “webinar” variation that acts more like a live classroom.
Why You Should Be a Harm Reduction Coach
Becoming a harm reduction coach is a brave choice to make. The career path isn’t easy, but it’s rewarding to communities and possibly yourself. It stands almost as a sentiment towards treating addicts less like hardened criminals in need of some harsh punishment, and more like people who just need help. Some may disagree with the prospect of allowing clients to take their substance of choice or alternatives to calm the urge, but it’s proven effective. Not only that, but it’s not a final solution, it’s a step.
Whether we like it or not, there’s going to be a chance that a person in recovery is going to relapse. It’s not unlikely nor is it uncommon, and it’s just a matter of figuring out how you want to deal with it. As a harm reduction coach, you can take a potential setback and turn it into a step forward toward recovery. No risk of dirty needles or overdosing, just focus on keeping usage to a minimum or replacing it entirely with something like suboxone or methadone.
How much does a Harm Reduction Coach make?
The statistics for a harm reduction coach’s salary vary depending on certain factors: Experience, location, clientele, and more. For example, reported Harm Reduction Coach salaries within some firms to range anywhere from $40,000 a year to $78,000 a year according to GlassDoor.com. However, according to Salary.com, in locations like New York, reported salaries are closer to $98,000 – $103,000 a year. Finally, according to yet another listing on Salary.com, in Massachusetts, a Harm Reduction Coach’s salary is closer in range to $67,000 to $90,000 a year.
In summary, a Harm Reduction Coaching position isn’t an easy one, but it can be a rewarding one. It keeps clients in safe hands if they were to ever relapse or need alternatives, it provides a comfortable salary in some locations, and getting certification isn’t difficult! With The Addictions Academy, it’s a quick course with plenty of material, information, and experience to boot. If the job has at all piqued your interest, there’s plenty more information on The Addiction’s Academy listing below.
The Addictions Academy