What We Believe
Harm Reduction Victoria believes:
- That drugs have positive as well as harmful effects (for the individual and the society).
- That many of the negative effects associated with drug use are not caused by the drugs themselves but are the product of legal, psycho-social and economic factors surrounding their use.
- That the current distinction between legal and illegal drugs is not evidence-based.
- That this legal/illegal demarcation does not accurately reflect the potential harms associated with the various substances
- That the application of criminal sanctions to one group of substances, and not the other, appears to be arbitrary and counterproductive to the aim of reducing drug related harm.
- That prohibition creates a barrier to accessing services and creates hidden harms which cannot be addressed whilst prohibition exists.
- That drug use and drug related harm should be viewed and managed as a health issue and not a legal issue.
- That drug use should be viewed within a social model of health, which views health not merely as the absence of disease, but as a resource for living.
- That “promoting health means addressing the social, economic and political factors that impinge upon people’s capacity to enjoy good health” (Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion, 1987).
The Way We Work
Harm Reduction Victoria is a peer based organisation. We are of and for our communities. Our membership, staff and supporters include current and former drug users and people who support the values and objectives of Harm Reduction Victoria.
Harm Reduction Victoria is a community-based organisation that is accountable, in the first instance, to our membership and our constituent communities. We prioritise the issues and concerns of people who use drugs in all we do within a community development framework.
The philosophy of harm reduction and advancing the health and human rights of people who use drugs guides all of HRV’s work. HRV’s interventions are individually and collectively targeted, in order to promote a culture of safer drug use.