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Addiction Questions

Because you guys talk about moderating drinking, and moderate drug use, it makes you sound a lot like Harm Reduction. Is it the same thing?

No, The Freedom Model is not harm reduction. As a matter of fact, you can see the topic heading below that states this with plain language. Read on to see how The Freedom Model approach is different from harm reduction:

The Freedom Model Is Not Harm Reduction

This exercise shouldn’t be confused with “harm reduction,” which is an approach to helping people with substance use problems that has recently become popular. While well intentioned, help that comes under the banner of harm reduction often comes with the assumption that people are incapable of fully stopping so the best that can be done is to reduce the harms of substance use for those poor, unfortunate, addicted souls. Of course, this is false, and we want to be clear on that point. All options, including stopping altogether, are possible in The Freedom Model. No option is more difficult than any other whether that be adjusting your use or abstaining.

From The Freedom Model standpoint, no one is truly addicted (addicted meaning enslaved to continue to desire and use substances), so everyone, from the “highly functional alcoholic” to the homeless man at the bus station begging for money to get more crack, is equally capable of fully quitting or adjusting his or her use. Remember this truth because it makes this an exercise in imagining happier options rather than simply reducing harms. There is a motivational difference in these competing frames. We advocate moving forward based on the benefits of various options without fear involved, whereas harm reduction implies that addiction is a real thing that must be fought.



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*In cases of physical withdrawal, medical treatment and/or medical detoxification services may be necessary. Consult with a licensed physician..
The Freedom Model and the Freedom Model Retreats, divisions of Baldwin Research Institute, Inc., do not provide any services that require certification by New York State’s Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services. The information in this book is designed to provide information and education on the subject of substance use and human behavior. This book is not meant to be used, nor should it be used, to diagnose or treat any associated condition. The publisher and authors are not responsible for any consequences from any treatment, action, application, or preparation, by any person or to any person reading or following the information in this book. The publisher has put forth its best efforts in preparing and arranging this. The information provided herein is provided “as is” and you read and use this information at your own risk. The publisher and authors disclaim any liabilities for any loss of profit or commercial or personal damages resulting from the use of the information contained in this book.


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