The History of Harm Reduction for Addiction – LPP PODCAST Episode 22

Stanton Peele By: Dr. Stanton Peele

Posted on June 29th, 2020 - Last updated: September 28th, 2023
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Harm reduction therapy is based on four principles:

  1. While absolute abstinence may be preferable for many or most substance abusers, very few will achieve it, and even that small group will take time to do so and may relapse periodically;
  2. Ordinary medical treatment readily accepts and practices ameliorative therapies, which preserve health and well-being even when people fail to observe all recommended health behaviors;
  3. Therapists should present accurate information to clients and may even express their own beliefs, but they cannot make judgments for clients;
  4. There are many shades of improvement in every kind of therapy—this improvement may be all that people are capable of and should be encouraged and nurtured.

For our LPP podcast, we’ve created a new series of episodes titled, “LPP and Harm Reduction”. The series contains four segments that you’ll hear over the next four weeks.

Today you’ll hear part 1: “The History of Harm Reduction For Addiction”.  We also have additional articles relating to Harm Reduction on our website.

Let us know what you think! Write to us at


Stanton Peele

Dr. Stanton Peele, recognized as one of the world's leading addiction experts, developed the Life Process Program after decades of research, writing, and treatment about and for people with addictions. Dr. Peele is the author of 14 books. His work has been published in leading professional journals and popular publications around the globe.

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