Harm minimisation


ReGen works within a Harm Minimisation framework. This is the same framework that underpins all Australian Government AOD policy. Harm Minimisation provides a multilayered approach to reducing the supply of and demand for alcohol and other drugs in Australia, while also addressing the needs of people who currently use these substances. It also focuses on prevention and targeting at-risk groups.

Harm Minimisation includes three key areas of operation: Supply Reduction (e.g. customs and police operations), Demand Reduction (e.g. public health campaigns and treatment services) and Harm Reduction (e.g. Needle and Syringe Programs and Medically Supervised Injecting Centres).

At ReGen, we combine the principles of Demand Reduction and Harm Reduction within our services.

Our approach is not about making moral judgements or trying to tell people what to do. It is about working with them in a respectful way, whether their goal is ceasing or reducing their use, or minimising the harms associated with substance use.

Supporting an individual's right to become abstinent, or to not use drugs unlawfully, is a significant component of any approach. Harm Reduction approaches aim to maintain open communication about drug use with people currently using them.

Harm Reduction accepts that, despite our best efforts, some people will choose to use drugs, even some illicit drugs. It does not mean that we, as individuals, or as an organisation, condone that use.

Harm Reduction does not necessarily mean approval of drug use or support for legislative change, and should not be equated with the legalisation of drugs. It is an approach that aims to reduce the adverse health, social and economic consequences of alcohol and other drugs by minimising or limiting the harms and hazards of drug use for both the community and the individual without necessarily eliminating use.

ReGen’s aim is to focus on recognising, affirming and building the individual’s strengths, and creating a sense of hope. Evidence demonstrates that this provides the best opportunity for promoting health, and reducing alcohol and other drug related harm. Sustainable changes occur when people recognise the benefits for themselves, have the appropriate supports in place and believe that it is possible. We recognise that changing behaviour can be difficult and can take time. Recovery is often an ongoing journey of growth, where setbacks can become learning opportunities.