Using Harm Reduction Techniques

Using Harm Reduction Techniques

February 17, 2020 Uncategorized 62

At the 2/19 Bonner Meeting we focused on Harm Reduction. Respond to each of the questions below based on the seminar.

  • What is one thing you learned in our Harm Reduction training?
  • How can these techniques be transferred to other parts of your life (at your site, role on campus, future professional career, etc.)?
  • What do you think are the ethical dilemmas associated with using HR techniques at community organizations?


62 Responses

  1. Maura Lynch says:

    Harm reduction refers to a range of public health policies designed to lessen the negative social and/or physical consequences associated with drug use. It was originally used to deal with the HIV crisis and now is being applied to the opioid crisis. Harm reduction relates to Bonner work because the goal is to keep community members safe and healthy- not to judge or punish them for their addiction. This is a common practice among Bonner Service as we help community partners with what they need, not what we think is best for them.
    A question I have regarding Harm Reduction is does Harm Reduction help addicts more than treatment programs in the long run?

  2. From the videos I watched, I learned that harm reduction is techniques that drug addicts can use to get rid of their addiction and become both physically and mentally stable. Harm reduction can inform the drug user on proper sterilization techniques such as clean needles or allow them to replace one drug such as heroin to methadone- a safer version. These drugs allow for a slower activation and slower excretion so the drug user can stabilize themselves. I think that in terms of Bonner work, eliminating the stigma against harm reduction would be very impactful. My site specifically does not have any individuals to use this technique on, but just even acknowledging and putting oneself in a user’s shoes and realizing that abstinence may not be the best option is vital. One question I have is how many areas or what specific institutions use harm reduction?

  3. Ivory Moore says:

    One thing I learned during the harm reduction training was that there are centers that people can go, to safely do their drugs instead of being criminalized for it. This stuck out to me because people who are incarcerated for drugs make up the majority of our prison populations. If people with addictions were treated as if it is a disease, there would be less violence when it comes to drug use. This does create some controversy between individuals. Some may believe that these centers encourage people to use the drugs more frequently, but after this meeting, I learned that this a more humanistic technique used to help others, rather than the systematic technique that just results in throwing people in jail.

  4. Nia Colon says:

    During the Harm Reduction Training, I learned several this good that will be if ur me in my profession career. I didn’t not know that it could have been used for things other than drugs. I heard the term and automatically thought ways to prevent drug use in communities. These techniques/knowledge that I can bring back into the hospital. I think for people who are going to be working in communities/ health professions or educators it’s important to know what to do it the situation. This can be implemented even on campus by making the student feel more safe. Some ethical dilemmas can include that people may just go for the lower income communities because they assume the drugs are there.

  5. Amelia Butler says:

    Based on the videos you watched, what is harm reduction?
    How do you think it can apply to Bonners’ work?
    What questions do you have about Harm Reduction?

    According to these videos, harm reduction is practices that work with the goal of reducing potential harm in drug-using communities. Harm reduction works as a small step towards a major goal of getting people to stop taking drugs in general in order to keep people a little more safe for the current moment. Harm reduction involves providing people with safer alternatives, safe supplies, safe locations, and the resources they may need in order to take those necessary steps toward addiction recovery. I think that this can definitely apply to the work we do as Bonners. We have such a wide reach in the community, and I feel that we come into contact with numerous individuals every single day at our sites that may benefit or be able to benefit from harm reduction programs. I don’t really have any specific questions, but I am just curious about seeing such programs in practice in this area.

  6. Pierre Dalce says:

    I have never heard of harm reduction nor harm reduction techniques. However this has been one of most informative sessions that I’ve sat through in a log time. One thing that I have learned is that in some places they are starting to implement systems in which they teach those who are addicted to drugs cpr and medical training because most of the time they are the first respondents on a seen and that can help save lives. Unfortunately, at my specific site there is little to no room to implement it in my site because of the nature of what we are accomplishing at my site. We are a bilingual Montessori school that fosters education between children 4-13 so there is no presence of drugs at or around our site. However this information should be general knowledge that many lack and people should be aware and vigilant of harm reduction techniques. Some ethical dilemmas that can come from bringing HR techniques into community organizations is that In some cases people might not be exposed to drugs and addiction and we might inadvertently expose them to such topics and that might be a danger to the community.

  7. Stephanie Da Fonseca says:

    I had never heard of harm reduction techniques before and honestly I am so happy to know this exists. I found it very interesting how harm reduction techniques are not solely used for drug related issues, but for other things as well. I think a good way to thing about harm reduction is that you are doing the best you can at the moment for the individual, it does not matter is that wont be a long term solution. One thing I can see applying to my life in a long term because I want to pursue the medical field is this, some people may see it as why help them if it isnt going to change them and etc? But I believe we should do what we can at the time it is required.

  8. Ecli Vazquez says:

    From the Harm reduction training I learned there’s different ways to help people with addiction. At times people that are going through addiction is hard for them to come into a complete stop and harm reduction helps so they do not feel rushed. They help those that can’t while also help people stop their addiction the right way. Harm reduction can be seen as a universal component. My sight is Sunnyside we helps students with there homework but our main focus is to provide a safe place where they can be themselves and place for them to be after school.

  9. Lulama Nyembe says:

    t the 2/19 Bonner Meeting we focused on Harm Reduction. Respond to each of the questions below based on the seminar.

    What is one thing you learned in our Harm Reduction training?
    How can these techniques be transferred to other parts of your life (at your site, role on campus, future professional career, etc.)?
    What do you think are the ethical dilemmas associated with using HR techniques at community organizations?

    During the seminar, I gained a greater understanding of all the ways in which my site and our other Bonner sites are utilising harm reduction. The way in which it was presented allowed me to see how relevant and applicable it can be to any given issue. Harm reduction will be an especially important tool for me as I take on a new role as a community assistant. However, as a representative of community living, if I appear to support behaviour or activity that is explicitly outlined to be “unlawful” by campus standards, it would imply that such behaviour and or activity is acceptable or supported by the Office of Community Living. Such ethical dilemmas also present themselves in community organisations that utilise harm reduction techniques. The organisation’s policies and its focus on using these techniques may appear to be on opposing ends, even though they most likely are different ways to achieve the same goal.

    • Kate Callery says:

      You pose a really interesting challenge of abiding by OCL expectations while also working to incorporate Harm Reduction into your CA role, but I know you will find the balance!

  10. Kate Callery says:

    The thing that I took away from harm reduction is there is multiple ways a looking at a problem. Often times when we look a problems or issues within our community we become overwhelmed at the magnitude of change that must be done. However, with harm reduction I believe the issue become more individualized and manageable. I find it to be very innovative way to going about helping others. I think of harm reduction can be an effective way of engaging with problems. If we look at what can be done to to help rather than demanding intense change, we make the conversation more inclusive. I can understand the fear of harm reduction when it is not completely understood. From some perspectives it may seem that harm reduction aids in the harm. However, harm reduction is truly the work of understanding individuals and building practical solutions.

  11. Samantha Lunt says:

    Coming into this training I did not know much about harm reduction at all. I learned what harm reduction is and all of the benefits that can come from harm reduction and also just how it can be used in so many different fields and how prevalent it can be within all of our different sites. My group discussed how Siena College could use harm reduction and all of the different aspects that it could play into to make students feel safer and more comfortable on campus. Also at my site harm reduction could be used, in the after school program we talk a lot about how to handle different child’s behaviors best. I think that harm reduction can be used in this to know the best ways to help children express how they feel. Knowing how the kids react to certain situations before they happen can help them be able to feeling and express their feelings in a safe way. I understand why people believe that harm reduction is just fostering a negative behavior to continue, but I believe that a safe space is more important and can be more helpful in reducing harm then just banning it all together and saying it is bad. This is because harm reduction gives resources that otherwise may not be available.

  12. Tori Mangelli says:

    One thing I learned in this training was what harm reduction is, prior to this training I had never heard of it. Although I’m not completely sure how my site in particular could use harm reduction, as I work in an office with two other women, I do think the community at Siena College could do a better job at it. My group discussed how Siena’s strict rules don’t stop negative behavior, rather it promotes it in unsafe ways. For example, although most of us are under 21 and should not be drinking, it is a college campus so it is probably going to happen anyway. My group and I felt as though if people were not so afraid of getting caught by public safety, they probably would drink more responsibly, and thus this would lead to a decrease in the amount of transports we have. In comparison to other colleges, people getting transported is a serious problem on this campus. I don’t think they should promote underage drinking, but I think if our community went about it in a better way, more students would be able to drink responsibly, which should be a priority because students will do it despite the rules against it. I think the main ethical issue associated with harm reduction techniques is that people believe they are condoning negative behavior. However, that is not the case. Instead, it is a way of helping people who may be doing something harmful, like drugs, regardless of what the law is, thus they should be doing it safely.

  13. Liliana Sanchez Adames says:

    Looking back at the meeting on harm reduction, I recognized I knew all the information that was spoke about, however I did not know there was a name to the whole thing. Working in healthcare, there are plenty of alternative medications that are given to patients to try and reduce or counter attack other more harmful things; that is the definition of healthcare. However, I have to admit it is not refer to as “harm reduction” and I am glad we were taught about this at the meeting. I have learned that when the patients or the people are involved in their medical decision making, they are more likely to take initiative and try and get better from lets say an addiction. But, I cannot help but think that a lot of the time, patients with drug addictions are not very reliable or very trust worthy in the minds of physicians and so initially there is this misconception stuck in the mind of the physician. This causes trusting this particular patient to be the last thing in a provider’s mind. This ties back to my very own capstone. Physicians lack cultural competency and social justice education which leads them to make these assumptions right of the bat, affecting the care of the patient. This can be fixed if the education system as well as domestic education is implemented on people in general, not just physicians.

    • Chandler Edbauer says:

      I did not attend the meeting but I believe harm reduction refers to approaches to minimise negative health, social and legal impacts associated with drug use. Harm reduction is grounded in human rights and it focuses on positive change and on working with people without judgement. Harm reduction is a range of health and practices that apply to all drugs. These include drug consumption rooms, needle and syringe programs, employment initiatives, drug checking, overdose prevention and reversal, psychosocial support, and the provision of information on safer drug use. These approaches give a positive impact on individual and community health.
      Principles of harm reduction are respecting the rights of people who use drugs, commitment to evidence, commitment to social justice and collaborating with networks of people who use drugs, and the avoidance of stigma.
      It is important to know this to help people in my life who have are using drugs and who need support. A negative side is making drug usage available to other people and gives them another reason to use.
      -My computer would not let me post my own.

  14. Hayley Pij says:

    Putting together this Harm Reduction training with Kayla made me realize how relevant harm reduction is at our Bonner sites! I have a lot of knowledge around harm reduction at my social work field placement and I have enjoyed how much these two experiences have intertwined this semester, enriching my understanding of both social work and community development. As I will be going to grad school for social work this fall, I hope to take this knowledge and be able to bring it into my future social work practice, no matter the field that I go into. There are so many ethical dilemmas relating to harm reduction, balancing the self determination of the client and the general rules and regulations needed at community agencies. It is important to think critically about how organizational policy decisions impact the people who utilize the services of the organization.

    • Kate Callery says:

      You guys did an amazing job with your presentation! And you bring up an important point on how harm reduction may conflict with organizations’ rules and regulations.

  15. Michael Averill says:

    The media today often frames drug usage as a root cause for many other issues in our society under the premise that the poor choices people make lead to less safe communities. However, what is often overlooked is the fact that drug usage is a biproduct of the real challenges facing communities today. Lack of access to good education, generational poverty, the absence of social programs for children and young adults, and broken family units are all factors that contribute to the opioid epidemic we see today. Drugs fill a void in the lives of people who do not have an equality of opportunity in this country. Harm reduction policies make critical contributions towards improving the well-being of individuals by protecting their health while at the same time safeguarding their human dignity. Options such as Safe Injection Sites and Clean Needle programs may be portrayed as counterintuitive towards progress in the media, but in reality they are best practice techniques that should be implemented nation-wide. Drug usage will not simply go away by declaring a war on drugs or imprisoning the users who get caught. The opioid epidemic will improve when communities come together to create policies that keep individuals safe while providing them with choices that allow them to wane off their addictions in safe environments.

  16. Kiara Woodward says:

    In this meeting I was challenged to think about harm reduction as more than just reducing harm for people with drug addiction. Harm reduction happens at Green Tech every day. Education is a harm reduction tool that can combat criminal behavior, unemployment, and much more. An ethical dilemma that organizations may face when deciding whether to put harm reduction into practice is “accepting” the harmful behavior. Organizations may view harm reduction methods as enabling bad behavior. The reality of harm reductions is the lesser of two “evils”. At least the individuals participating in harm reduction have less of a chance of experiencing harm.

  17. Tristan says:

    One thing I learned is what harm reduction is and the fact that there are various forms of it. Kiara and I discussed implementing a “know your rights” seminar for the students at green tech. This can be a form of harm reduction because it allows the students to become more aware of their legal rights if they were to ever get into a situation where it would be helpful to know them. Harm reduction usually has a negative stigma in community settings because it usually refers to responding to activities that are illegal or are frowned upon by society.

  18. Abeer Jafri says:

    xI did not attend this week’s meeting, but I did some research regarding harm reduction, a concept I have heard about before, but not learned about in depth. I learned that harm reduction is a way to prevent worst case scenarios in situations like drug and alcohol abuse, or sexual encounters. I learned that harm reduction is beneficial in the fact that although it is difficult to flat out solve an issue such as drug abuse or unsafe intercourse, taking appropriate measures to ensure these practices are at least done safely is a spreading technique. At Unity House, we offer harm reduction trainings and groups that help and offer resources to people in need. At Siena, I think more can be done to promote safe drinking and sex, because these issues are so prevalent that they cannot be completely cut out, but students would benefit from taking safety measures while engaging in them. In the future, I hope to work in the medical field in which harm reduction is used to a degree. One major ethical dilemma with harm reduction is that it can be seen as promoting bad habits, but I think harm reduction is a small step to solve big issues, and it must be understood that it has many benefits.

    • Alexis D'Aloia says:

      I love that Unity House has those trainings in place! If you haven’t already, it would be cool to attend one there to learn more about how UH helps people through harm reduction.

  19. Erin Spence says:

    I found this meeting to be really informative about harm reduction. I had heard the term used before, but I did not have a full understanding of the topic until after this meeting. I think the discussion from this meeting was a great way to hear others opinions on the topic which I think helped me to understand the wide range of scenarios in which harm reduction can be used. These techniques could be transferred to my work at Capital Roots especially because they are already doing so much harm reduction work already through their community gardens, the Veggie Mobile, and their Healthy Streets initiative. Now that that I am more aware of the areas that this technique is being used, I have a greater ability to find new ways to implement harm reduction within the organization. Being able to have a conversation with our site teams was really helpful in identifying these areas in which harm reduction is used at our sites and I think this was also eye opening because there were several areas of the organization that I would not have previously considered harm reduction until having this discussion. One of the biggest ethical dilemmas I see associated with using harm reduction techniques at community organizations is that it does not solve the root causes of the problems we are seeing. Although they do prevent harm in many situations, they also are a more one time fix, rather than a long term solution.

    • Alexis D'Aloia says:

      That’s a nice explanation of the ethical dilemma being that it’s more of a one time fix rather than a long term solution… it’s definitely important to see both sides of the argument.

  20. Marykate Del Gais says:

    I had no idea what Harm Reduction actually was, so this meeting was very informative for me. I learned so many new things that I had never known before. It was great hearing everyone’s opinions on the subject also. I think one of the most eye-opening moments for me during this meeting was how little Siena does to promote Harm Reduction techniques. I feel like everyone had a lot to say about the way our campus goes about dealing with these types of issues. While I do not necessarily see harm reduction techniques being used at my site, I feel like I can start applying these techniques to my daily life. I can now take what I’ve learned during the meetings and educate others about the topic, which can be helpful to those around me! I can see why some may view harm reduction as a way of supporting these bad habits. However, it is a way for the behaviors to be reduced over time which ultimately is beneficial for the individual.

  21. Abby Hoekman says:

    Unfortunately, I do not currently attend weekly meetings as I have a class obligation at this time. However, ironically enough I attended a Chronic Illness and Harm Reduction Training at Unity House two weeks ago. I knew nothing about this term or practice when I entered the training, but I learned a lot about how it is used for specific clients that Unity House serves. I learned that Harm Reduction Training is often used for people suffering from addiction and other health issues. Harm reduction is based on reducing the addictive/ deviant behavior and/ or making sure the behavior is being executed as safely as possible. For example, if a client is administering drugs intravenously, Unity House offers an anonymous needle exchange program so that clients can use clean needles when using to prevent further harm of disease or infection through unclean needles. Another harm reduction technique that Unity House implements is making condoms for all genders easily accessible on the reception desk at community resources. Lastly, Unity House offers a PROS program where clients who suffer from mental illness can be held accountable for taking the proper medications at the correct dose and frequency as a harm reduction practice. These techniques can be transferred to Siena College to help ensure safe practices for students (especially for sex and drugs). Currently, Siena’s current stance is a zero-tolerance for deviant behavior according to the franciscan values. However, the reality is that people always have and always will engage in this behavior to some degree and it is the college’s responsibility to ensure they are offering every means necessary for students to remain safe in all ways. Harm reduction practices may be beneficial in my future career in psychology or human resources as there may be situations where individuals need help forming a plan to reduce behavior that can be harmful to themselves or others in an everyday and workplace setting. Ethical Dilemmas associated with Harm Reduction techniques at community organizations include a fine line between reducing behavior and condoning/ instigating the behavior. Many people feel if they direct a client to a program for clean needles, they are inadvertently encouraging the behavior. However, the goal of harm reduction is not to accept the behavior or input your personal beliefs in the process, it is merely to ensure that the behavior is done safely with the objective of being reduced overtime for the benefit of the client.

    • Kate Callery says:

      I am intrigued by the PROS program that Unity House runs, it’s great to see the extent that harm reduction practices are used!

  22. Aedan says:

    In our harm reduction training I learned about the various ways that harm reduction techniques have been implemented in organizations and communities, and how successful these initiatives have been. I hope to be able to use these techniques in my own leadership development moving forward and helping others cope with harmful habitats, even those that are not very severe. I believe that the adoption of harm reduction techniques for myself and within my larger career will help to build a more inclusive and productive environment. I do, however, understand that the use of these techniques create an ethical dilemma at most community organizations. It seems counterintuitive to many people to provide syringes for those addicted to opiods, for example. It is also a great responsibility to take on for the organization, but the existing research reveals that these techniques are extremely beneficial in the long run.

    • Dana Wakeman says:

      I like how you’re applying the concept of harm reduction into your future professional careers!

  23. Alexis D'Aloia says:

    During our seminar I learned about other Harm Reduction techniques that I was not aware of. Using the seatbelt analogy made it easier to understand and apply the concept of harm reduction to other topics. I think these techniques can be implemented into our campus in some form because we currently lack some practices that could be incredibly beneficial for students. Understanding the benefits of Narcan shows us that our campus policies should be altered in order to make it a safer community. As a CA on campus, having these discussions with my supervisor and other professional staff may help to get our policies changed to make Narcan more readily available. There are definitely ethical dilemmas surrounding HR techniques. Some people believe that HR ideas just enable people to engage in unsafe practices because then they know there will be assistance to make it safer for them.

    • Dana Wakeman says:

      It’s so important for us to think about how we can take what we learn in Bonner into our other roles on campus, and so glad you’re doing that with CA!

  24. Jamie del Rosario says:

    As a student with a social work background, I have always loved the practice of harm reduction within organizations and vulnerable populations. I have always thought of it as this:

    If you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day. If you teach a man to fish you will feed him for a lifetime. But if you don’t give the man any fish while you are teaching him, he will starve before he learns.

    I learned more in this training about how some of our different community partner sites are applying harm reduction strategies in their own work. I know that for the PA team in general this sometimes means looking at the bigger picture of Siena College’s campus, and it has definitely been difficult in the past to implement some of these skills due to the myths and misconceptions that surround them. I think that people can get so lost in the actions being taken directly in harm reduction that they forget to look at the bigger picture and the long-term goals- and something like that takes education to combat.

    • Andraya Perez says:

      Hey Jamie, I really enjoyed reading your reflection from this week’s meeting. I loved being able to talk to you during the meeting and hearing your thoughts on harm reduction. It was an educating conversation for me and I appreciate you very much!

  25. Dana Wakeman says:

    One thing I learned at this training is that the concept of harm reduction can be used in various areas of social work, public policy, among other fields. For example, harm reduction can be used to reduce addiction by having a clean needle exchange.

    I hope to bring the concept of harm reduction into my capstone/thesis because it will be focusing on drug courts, and these are an example of harm reduction. I want my capstone/thesis to explore harm reduction to explain why drug courts are beneficial to the people, communities, and institutions involved.

    However, there are some ethical dilemmas associated with using harm reduction techniques as it can be argued that these techniques allow people to continue harmful actions. Even though harm reduction allows people to sometimes continue harmful actions, it allows them to act in a safer way. Therefore, even though harm reduction may not cause immediate change, it will lead to sustainable change over time.

    P.S. I enjoyed this training a lot, and thank you to Kayla and Hayley for facilitating (and Grace for answering my questions in our small group)!

    • Katie Zyniecki says:

      I agree- Kayla and Hayley did a great job! I attended a conference in 2013 which featured a documentary and conversation hosted by the director about a needle exchange program near Springfield, MA. Reflecting on the fact that 2013 was 7 years ago, it’s kind of crazy that we have not made more progress using innovative and responsive HR techniques to solve our community problems!

  26. Sydney Maughan says:

    During the Harm Reduction training I learned a lot of things, I learned that harm reduction is implemented almost everywhere, not just with drug related situations. I also learned about the many harm reductions that all the service sites we go to do, including my own, TRIP.
    Several of the techniques we learned about can be transferred to other parts of our lives. Such as doing small things that help the earth like using recyclables or being conscious about what is and isn’t recyclable or compostable. Also at my site I can start paying more attention to all the things we do as an organization and how they are or aren’t harm reduction.
    An ethical dilemma associated with using HR techniques in the community is that we’re only fixing a problem momentarily, nothing long term is going on to help the situation, only a small portion is being dealt with.

  27. Samantha Gisleson says:

    One thing I learned from last night’s training is that harm reduction can span far past clean needles and safe drug administration, which is what I had previously associated it with. Harm reduction is a technique that can be used in many aspects of our lives. I can personally use this technique by remembering that many times it is better to reduce harm than trying to solve a whole problem at once. For example, if a student were to have a tantrum, rather than removing the student, we could remove the rest of the class to ensure safety. I could also advocate for harm reduction techniques to be used on campus, such as CAs carrying Narcan, as we mentioned during the meeting. Many people think that harm reduction is just prolonging a problem, however it can save lives and reduce problems that are extremely difficult to extinguish completely. The article that my group read was about a man named Ed who was able to find control in his life through harm reduction. Although it was a long journey, Ed did not die, which shows the importance of harm reduction and shows why it is both ethical and important.

    • Dana Wakeman says:

      My group read the case about Ed too, and I agree with you, it was so helpful to learn about the long term impact of harm reduction.

  28. Mara Golden says:

    There were many things I learned about harm reduction at this week’s meeting. I had heard about it before but thought it only pertained to drug use, I did not think it could be applied to things like safe sex. These techniques should ben implemented in a lot of different places. At Unity House, I think we can advertise it more in our building. Although we have things posted about HIV/AIDs we can do more. Many of our clients and staff can benefit from harm reduction training and our Community Resources should also be passing out condoms to clients who need them. Siena can also do the same. CA’s should be able to have condoms in their rooms or office to give to students. Just because Siena is a Catholic college does not mean every student attends is, not every student is going to wait until marriage. Our health services office should also be carrying condoms and have the ability to give birth control. By not having these things available the student body is more at risk of, not just getting pregnant, but also getting HIV or other sexually transmitted diseases. One ethical dilemma that comes to mind about harm reduction is it not fitting into certain beliefs. Like our problem at Siena. Giving out condoms is “promoting sex” but it is better to promote safe sex than it is to have students to have unprotected and unsafe sex.

    • Dana Wakeman says:

      These are great points about how to increase harm reduction at Siena, hopefully we can make some change.

    • Jamie del Rosario says:

      I think the idea of having a harm reduction staff training is wonderful. Maybe a future Bonner project?

  29. Jack McKenna says:

    One thing I learned from harm reduction training is that it goes beyond the use of drugs. That it includes reducing harm for people facing food insecurity and environmental harm reduction, like reduced pollution and stricter regulations, for example. In terms of drug harm reductions I learned that the end goal isn’t always abstinence, but rather allowing these consenting adults to make their own decisions and have access to safe and regulated means of doing so. This can be applied to many different situations, from carrying Narcan spray with me on a daily basis to looking for ways to promote harm reductions at my site and in my future communities. This training also gave me a new perspective on these sort of issues, it showed me that drug addictions aren’t necessarily a negative thing. Most people look down on people using drugs because they associate it with poor health, uneducated, or perhaps they know someone who’s life had been ruined by their addiction. In those cases it’s important to remember that these people are at the mercy of their addictions, and if it were up to them, they would have clean, safe, and regulated means of using the drug. By providing them with these opportunities, it gives these people an opportunity to stay safe and healthy, and makes breaking the addiction readily available without pressuring them, because they are a human first. Some may see this as unethical as it could come across as enabling their drug use, but these people aren’t going to stop using drugs just because they can’t do it safely. With that said, if people are going to do it anyway, who are we to take away their options and force them to do it without regulations and safety precautions? They are still adults, and they are still humans, so why not assist them and make sure everyone tasks risks with a safety net, like a regulated needle dispensary or putting seat belts in cars?

    • Katie Zyniecki says:
      • Katie Zyniecki says:

        Thank you for such a thoughtful reflection- I’m glad you took away so much from this week’s training!

    • Dana Wakeman says:

      Jack, this is great! I especially like how you mentioned that people who use drugs are humans first, this is so important for everyone to remember as we work to make change.

  30. Nancy Rasmussen says:

    Our recent training was super informative. I learned that Harm Reduction does not just involve drugs. The techniques we learned at our training can benefit me tremendously in the present and in the future. As a college student, anything can happen. It is extremely important to be prepared with knowledge at all times. Furthermore, as a future teacher it will be important to have these Harm Reduction skills just in case anything were to happen to one of my students.
    Lastly, I think community organizations all have their own unique way of thinking and sometimes HR techniques do not line up with these organizations beliefs and values.

    • Katie Zyniecki says:

      This is definitely useful for you to know as a future teacher and someone who serves in a high school! I agree, it’s disappointing to see how HR policies sometimes prevent or are not in line with HR strategies. I’m so glad you were able to join us for the meeting this week!

  31. Andraya Perez says:

    I really thought this training spark a lot of great conversation. I have known about harm reduction through talking to my social worker friends and taking my sexual behavior course last spring. I enjoyed talking about harm reduction and hearing what other people thought about it as a sustainable prevention plan. I truly think harm reduction is the best practice. We continued a conversation that we had last year at a Bonner meeting about who should be Narcan carriers on campus. I think that was interesting that basically everyone agreed Siena College campus rules are not in line with a harm reduction system for drugs, alcohol, and sex. This should be a conversation that is continued to be talked about in Bonner and beyond.

    • Katie Zyniecki says:

      Based on your conversation during the meeting, the trainings you’ve been in that have discussed resources like Narcan, and trainings about Social Action you’ve participated in, what steps might you use to take action and make change on campus?

  32. Marlie says:

    One thing I learned during the Harm Reduction training was how many things can be applied as harm reduction and how beneficial these techniques are across many instances. Harm reduction techniques can be transferred to other parts of my life by just considering them in every scenario necessary. At my site, there are already many harm reduction techniques such as the patient portal, the clinic, and pamphlets for prevention and education services. In addition, harm reduction techniques should definitely be considered on college campuses where students are highly vulnerable. These are also relevant for my future career in the health field. In general, I think the ethical dilemmas associated with using harm reduction techniques at community organizations are the notion that they are increasing accessibility and encouraging deviant behavior, which is understandable, but it is important to be able to see the benefits that harm reduction provides.

    • Katie Zyniecki says:

      This was clearly a relevant topic for you! What might you say to people who are concerned that harm reduction encourages deviant behavior?

  33. Taylor says:

    At the beginning of this training I had no idea of what Harm Reduction was and the impact it has on communities. One point we discussed about spreading these techniques was on our campus. I believe Siena does not do well with supporting harm reduction while it should be a priority. Through our future meetings with public safety that Ivory is trying to enact we could make Siena a safer and more aware campus for faculty and students. I understand why some people could view harm reduction as a way of supporting “bad habits” but by having knowledge on the issues will greatly benefit everyone involved.

    • Andraya Perez says:

      Taylor, I love what you took away from the meeting! I think it’s great that you already see how harm reduction can better Siena’s campus. Going to events like meeting that Ivory is creating with public safety is a great way to spread knowledge of harm reduction.

  34. Cody Romani says:

    One thing I learned during the meeting on harm reduction is that it does not only relate to drug use , alcohol use, and addiction. Entering the meeting, I did not know what hark reduction even was. I realized that harm reduction is used at my site. At my site, I serve in a food pantry. A month worth of food for a family momentarily fills their fridge. I think this is an example of short term harm reduction. I think that at Siena an ethical use of harm reduction should be the use of Narcan. I feel that each person on this campus should have access to Narcan and the training of how to use Narcan. Overall, I feel that harm reduction needs to be talked about more and is definitely useful.

    • Katie Zyniecki says:

      It’s great to see you being able to connect things from our seminar sessions to what you see at your site! I wonder if you can think of any long term harm reduction strategies that are in use or could be used at Catholic Charities.

    • Jamie del Rosario says:

      Harm reduction education is definitely great knowledge to have. I hope that you can start to recognize what you’ve learned so that you can look out how to implement new strategies in the future!

  35. Grace says:

    Harm reduction is one of my favorite best practices in social work and I’m so excited that we are talking about it for Bonner! I did not really learn anything new because it is so well known in soical work but I always enjoy hearing other opinions on it. I think we could defiantly bring a harm reduction view to Wizarding! I think we could do a training on it for the tutors to teach them the importance and how we can extend it to the community. I do see why others might be wary of harm reduction and see it as an encouragement for bad behavior but I think it’s super helpful and awesome!

    • Andraya Perez says:

      Yas social work queen! I know how passionate you are about harm reduction and I loved hearing at the meeting how you see harm reduction being implemented at wizarding! I hope you get the chance to use harm reduction more at your site.

    • Jamie del Rosario says:

      We love to see some Social Work impact going strong!

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