Abstinence or Harm Reduction in Substance Abuse Treatment

Treating drug addiction is a complex endeavor, and there are two common philosophies that could be involved: abstinence or harm reduction.

Many people going through rehab wonder which of the two systems is the best one, which can be difficult to determine since they both have their own pros and cons.

What Does Abstinence Involve?

In an abstinence-based approach, patients have to completely abstain from drugs and alcohol. This is based on the belief that people who become addicted cannot manage their consumption in a way that does not lead to overusing or abusing drugs or alcohol.

And of course, this makes a lot of sense. Even when used in a social context, drugs and alcohol can impair a person’s judgment and make them more likely to act in certain ways they might not when they are sober. As a result, abusing drugs or alcohol is a higher risk because …