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“In Your Right Mind,” a weekly radio program that features in-depth roundtable discussions of today’s behavioral health headlines, will be airing an informative show, “Harm Reduction: A Controversial Yet Promising Approach to Treating Addiction,” this Sunday, February 4, at 5 p.m. Pacific Standard Time on Talk Radio 790 AM KABC in Los Angeles. The broadcast focuses on different harm reduction strategies and how they are being used in the realm of addiction treatment. The show is hosted by Tonmoy Sharma, M.B.B.S., M.Sc., founder and Chief Executive Officer of Sovereign Health, who provides an in-depth medical and clinical expertise, and co-host Stefanie Wilder-Taylor.
“Traditional approaches view abstinence as the only way to recover from an addiction, but, as addiction is a chronic, relapsing and remitting illness, taking such an approach is not always in the patients’ best interests,” says Dr. Sharma. “An approach known as harm reduction aims to minimize the negative consequences of drug use and minimize the harm to patients who suffer from addiction to reduce morbidity and mortality.”
The broadcast features Katie Witkiewitz, Ph.D., a psychology professor and scientist at the University of New Mexico’s Center on Alcoholism, Substance Abuse and Addictions. Dr. Witkiewitz research is largely centered on studying the process of addictive behavior relapse and empirically supported treatments for addiction. These efforts have led to several empirical investigations on the mechanisms of successful addiction treatment outcomes, as well as the development of interventions to prevent addictive behavior relapse, including mindfulness-based relapse prevention and group-based relapse prevention interventions.
Another panelist is Stephany Campos, the executive administrator and program manager for Homeless Health Care Los Angeles. This organization provides a comprehensive program for any person in need of health, mental health, housing or quality of life services, thus reducing the impact of homelessness in the communities of Los Angeles County.
“Most people with an alcohol use disorder reduce their drinking on their own in the absence of treatment and never have to declare themselves an alcoholic or get to the stage where they can’t moderate their drinking,” says Dr. Witkiewitz. “That’s the majority of people with an alcohol use disorder. The upper ten percent of these individuals who struggle with a moderate drinking approach.”
Traditional treatment approaches view abstinence as the only way to recover from an addiction, but, addiction is often not an “all or nothing” process. An unconventional approach to treating substance use disorders, known as harm reduction, aims to minimize the negative consequences of drug use and harm to patients who suffer from addiction. Again, tune in this Sunday, February 4, at 5 p.m. PST to hear the hosts and guests speak more on harm reduction.
For those who are interested in to follow “In Your Right Mind,” shows will be available on iTunes or on demand. For additional questions pertaining to the broadcast, please visit the website or send questions to [email protected].