Harm reduction: an emerging new paradigm for drug education

J Drug Educ. 1994;24(4):281-90. doi: 10.2190/087G-B4ET-08JY-T08Y.


Harm reduction is a new paradigm now emerging in the field of drug education. This strategy recognizes that people always have and always will use drugs and, therefore, attempts to minimize the potential hazards associated with drug use rather than the use itself. The rationale for a harm reduction strategy is presented, followed by an example of the kind of needs assessment which may be needed for planning a harm reduction strategy.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Alcohol Drinking / adverse effects
  • Alcohol Drinking / epidemiology
  • Alcohol Drinking / prevention & control*
  • Child
  • Family Therapy
  • Female
  • Health Education / methods*
  • Humans
  • Illicit Drugs*
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Substance-Related Disorders / complications
  • Substance-Related Disorders / epidemiology
  • Substance-Related Disorders / prevention & control*
  • United States / epidemiology


  • Illicit Drugs