Why Harm Reduction Coaching Is Necessary
Harm reduction is an evidence-based approach to addiction that reduces the judgment and stigma that often accompanies addiction. Instead of pushing for abstinence as the only option, harm reduction focuses on meeting the individual where they are. For example, the goal is to help the person who is struggling with alcohol reduce the amount that they are consuming if they aren’t quite ready to stop altogether.
So, instead of expecting someone to quit drinking when they aren’t prepared yet, the goal becomes how to protect their health and life from further damage.
So, if you’re a recovery or harm reduction coach, you will try to help people who still use substances find safer ways. Let’s look at why harm reduction coaching is necessary to help people with substance use disorder who may not be fully ready for abstinence.
Harm Reduction Coaching Helps by Reducing Drinks or Uses
If someone is not ready to stop drinking or using altogether just yet, a recovery coach can suggest that the client try to cut back on drinks or use. Besides helping them find medications that can assist in reducing use, a coach can suggest that they try to cut back.
So, for example, if someone isn’t ready to stop drinking, they may try to drink only on the weekends or take the weekends off. Once you reduce the use, you can reduce the harm it causes. Then, your clients are one step closer to being able to quit altogether.
Harm Reduction Coaching Helps by Reducing the Actual Harm of the Use
Harm reduction coaches can’t prescribe medications but can help find clinics and healthcare facilities offering harm-reduction drugs.
For example, a harm reduction coach could find a clinic that provides medicines that help people with opiate use disorders. By taking this medication, people who use opiates are less likely to overdose because the drug may contain Naloxone, an opiate blocker that prevents overdose.
Another way a harm reduction coach can help someone who uses drugs intravenously is to find a needle exchange or access program. The client could then reduce the chances of getting Hepatitis C or HIV by using clean needles.
If the client already has a medical issue from drug use, a harm reduction coach could help them find the appropriate care facilities to help with those issues.
Harm Reduction Coaching Helps by Reducing the Problems That Come With Addiction
Another aspect of harm reduction is helping the client reduce the complications accompanying alcohol or drug use. For example, legal, health, or work-related issues often plague those with substance use disorders.
So, with harm-reduction coaching, a coach can help the client work on fixing some of these issues. They could help them find a new job, fill out paperwork for assistance, help them find housing, work on getting custody of their kids, and drive them to doctors’ appointments or therapy. Helping someone fix some of their life problems increases the chances that they will want to get fully sober down the road.
Become a Certified Harm Reduction Coach
Harm reduction coaching is necessary to help people with substance use disorders. If you have compassion for people with addictions, consider becoming a harm reduction coach.
A harm reduction coach can be the person between someone’s life and death.
You should take our harm reduction coach course to help people with substance use disorders. The Addictions Academy offers a certified harm reduction coach course that will cover everything you need to know, including information about the many programs you can help your clients get into and use.
Reach out today to make a career choice you can be proud of. Help save lives by becoming a certified harm reduction coach now.