3. Supporting your Family Member’s Recovery

Harm reduction


Harm reduction focuses on policies, programs and practices that reduce the harms of substance use for the person using, as well as for the community. The goal is to save lives and reduce suffering, without requiring that a person stop a behaviour or activity that may have risks.

Harm can be caused by:

    the effects of the substance itself (e.g., liver damage as a result of severe alcohol use disorder)
    the many consequences of using the substance, such as:
      loss of housing
      drive to consume non-beverage alcohol that is cheap, potent and toxic
      stigma leading to isolation
      difficulty engaging in health care.