Addiction Recovery Approaches and Options – FNHA

Nov 28, 2018

A message from Dr. Nel Wieman, Senior Medical Officer, and Paul Perry, MN, First Nations Addictions Care Partnership Manager, FNHA Office of the Chief Medical Officer (OCMO)

Recovering from drug addiction can be thought of as a return to a state of health, mind, spirit and strength. While the end goal of recovery is to reduce or quit substance use in order to achieve an optimal quality of life or a low-risk lifestyle, we need to be compassionate and non-judgmental towards people who struggle with addictions and are not yet ready for this step. In these cases, the short-term goal on the spectrum of recovery is keeping people safe – and alive. In public health circles, this is known as a harm-reduction approach, so named because it aims to minimize the harms and potential danger – including overdose – to people who use substances.

Harm reduction and abstinence approaches are not opposites

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