Critical Approaches to Harm Reduction: Conflict, Institutionalization, (De-)Politicization, and Direct Action

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Nova Science Publishers, Incorporated, 2016 - Harm reduction - 310 pages
This book is divided into three sections. Entitled Critical Harm Reduction Policy: From Oppositional Social Movement to Institutionalised Public Health Policy, Part One encompasses a diverse array of issues relating to the cost/benefit analysis of harm reduction as measured in the terms of institutionalisation and (de-)politicisation. Part Two, Critical Harm Reduction Practice: Autonomy, Ideology, and Evidence-Based Interventions, consists of several concrete case studies concerning harm reduction practice in an array of (non-)traditional contexts. Comprised of a unique series of chapters that each interrogates a different issue relating to the philosophical underpinnings of harm reduction, Part Three is entitled Critical Harm Reduction Theory/Philosophy: Depoliticisation, Direct Action, and Drug/Service Users' Experiential Knowledge. Although the emphasis of each section and corresponding set of chapters is remarkably diverse, several themes remain prominent throughout this book, including an overtly critical analysis of the multiplicity of contextual deployments of harm reduction, a recurring focus on elevating the value of experiential knowledge and the fundamentally important, central role of people with direct lived experience. Additionally, the centrality of direct action tactics in the innovation of user-based forms of harm reduction in policy, practice, and philosophically-based contexts are discussed.

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About the author (2016)

Christopher B R Smith is an interdisciplinary scholar whose research concerning substance use has been published in numerous international, peer-reviewed journals. Christophers first sole-authored book manuscript Addiction, Modernity, and the City: A Users Guide to Urban Space was recently published in Routledges Advances in Sociology series. Following a Postdoctoral Fellowship conducted under the supervision of internationally-renowned Medical Anthropologist Dr. Philippe Bourgois at the University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia), Christopher has worked in Toronto, Melbourne, and St. Johns, Newfoundland, where he is presently a faculty member in the School of Social Work at Memorial University of Newfoundland (MUN). Since relocating to Newfoundland, Christopher has additionally taken on several community-based involvements, including: (1) establishing an interdisciplinary research forum regarding Harm Reduction and Critical Drug Studies through the Newfoundland Centre for Applied Health Research (NLCAHR); (2) co-organizing a conference entitled User-Driven Interventions in the Reduction of Drug-Related Harm: Everything you wanted to know about harm reduction but were afraid to ask for the local Addiction Treatment Services Association (ATSA), and; (3) serving as the St. Johns Site Coordinator for the Canadian Community Epidemiology Network on Drug Use (CCENDU), an initiative of the Canadian Centre for Substance Abuse (CCSA).

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