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Harm Reduction in Substance Use and High-risk Behaviour by Richard Pates

Harm Reduction in Substance Use and High-risk Behaviour

Part of the Addiction Press Series


Harm Reduction in Substance Use and High-risk Behaviour by Richard Pates

Harm Reduction is a philosophy of public health intended as a progressive alternative to the prohibition of certain potentially dangerous lifestyle choices. Recognising that certain people always have and always will engage in behaviours which carry risks, the aim of harm reduction is to mitigate the potential dangers and health risks associated with those behaviours. Harm Reduction in Substance Use and High-Risk Behaviour offers a comprehensive exploration of the policy, practice and evidence base of harm reduction. Starting with a history of harm reduction, the book addresses key ethical and legal issues central to the debates and developments in the field. It discusses the full range of psychoactive substances, behaviours and communities with chapters on injecting, dance drugs, stimulant use, tobacco harm reduction, alcohol use and sex work. Written by an international team of contributors, this text provides an essential panorama of harm reduction in the 21st century for educators and researchers in addiction and public health, postgraduate students and policy makers.


Overall this book is a very good read for those interested in addiction issues and could be used as an excellent reference book for future policy making in harm reduction. (Irish Journal of Psychological Medicine, 1 October 2013) Taken overall in the context of its strengths and shortcomings, and as one of the few textbooks of its kind, it is a welcome resource for the field of harm reduction. We would recommend this book to those unfamiliar with the discipline, particularly individuals entering academia and those interested in advocacy and policy. Many sections can be read as stand-alone pieces, to help the reader develop an understanding of fundamental concepts before delving further into research. It is especially valuable if one is interested in harm reduction with respect to the UK contex. (Drug & Alcohol Review, 15 September 2013)

About the Author

Diane Riley is a policy analyst with the Canadian Foundation for Drug Policy and Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Toronto. She is a founding member of the International Harm Reduction Association and a member of the Board of Directors of the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network Richard Pates is a consultant clinical psychologist and clinical director of the Addiction services for Cardiff and vale NHS Trust. He has worked in the field for nearly 20 years and has extensive experience of treating people with amphetamine problems. His research interests include the treatment of amphetamine problems and aspects of injecting. He is also editor of The Journal of Substance Use.

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Book Info

Publication date

27th July 2012


Richard Pates

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Wiley-Blackwell (an imprint of John Wiley & Sons Ltd) an imprint of John Wiley and Sons Ltd


488 pages


Addiction & therapy



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