Harm reduction – also known as harm minimisation - is about reducing harm caused by substance use. This could be in the form of physical harm, as well as psychological harm, such as the loss of a relationship or job, or facing legal consequences as a result of substance use.
The emphasis of harm reduction is on preventing harm, rather than simply preventing drug use. Harm reduction also focuses on reducing the risks for people who chose to continue using drugs.
Harm reduction is the Australian Government's approach to alcohol and drugs and is about taking actions to decrease the harmfulness of using alcohol, legal and illegal drugs.