Applying harm reduction to illicit drinking

A peer-led PHS program that gives people alternatives to illicit drinking has been shown to reduce consumption of harmful beverages and increase community connections.

A UBC study, Breaking the cycle of survival drinking, found that the Community Managed Alcohol Program (CMAP) improves health outcomes for participants.

CMAP applies harm reduction principles to the drinking of non-beverage alcohol – liquids not intended for consumption such as aftershaves, mouthwash and antiseptics, which pose a significant health hazard.

The study reported that participants found that daily doses of self-managed alcohol, along with other program supports, change harmful drinking patterns and led to them feeling a greater sense of well-being.

It states: “The Community Managed Alcohol Program was fundamental in participants’ transition out of daily survival drinking and the program further contributed to the existing community strengths of helping, caring and sharing among peers.”

Read the journal abstract:

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