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Applying addictions harm reduction lessons to mental healthcare

Reinhard M. Krausz (LEEF Chair in Addiction, based at Department of Psychiatry, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada)
Gregory R. Werker (Dr, based at Centre for Health Evaluation and Outcome Sciences, Providence Health Care, Vancouver, Canada)
Verena Strehlau (Dr, based at Department of Psychiatry, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada)
Kerry Jang (Professor, based at Department of Psychiatry, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada)

Advances in Dual Diagnosis

ISSN: 1757-0972

Article publication date: 13 May 2014

306

Abstract

Purpose

Psychiatry and other areas of mental healthcare have a limited reach. According to the National Comorbidity Survey in the USA the majority of people with mental illnesses do not get any professional support. The current “acute care focus” treatment paradigm directs funding toward hospitals, medications and institutions. The purpose of this paper is to explore the appropriateness of this approach.

Design/methodology/approach

To assess the acute care focus in mental healthcare, the authors will contrast it with an alternative paradigm of harm reduction.

Findings

The authors argue that harm reduction principles based on the experiences of addiction medicine may be an added value to the current system of care along with structural reforms regarding early intervention and community-focussed care.

Originality/value

This discussion paper contributes to a growing body of literature recognizing the inefficiencies of the present acute care centered paradigm in healthcare.

Keywords

Citation

M. Krausz, R., R. Werker, G., Strehlau, V. and Jang, K. (2014), "Applying addictions harm reduction lessons to mental healthcare", Advances in Dual Diagnosis, Vol. 7 No. 2, pp. 73-79. https://doi.org/10.1108/ADD-01-2014-0003

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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