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Harm reduction

Harm reduction

Sample Answer 

Harm reduction

Marian lives a life that endangers not only herself but that of her sexual partners. By having multiple sexual partners without protection, she risks contracting STDs and infecting all her partners. Additionally, she risks developing ovarian cancer, a type of cancer propagated by having multiple sexual partners. There is also the psychological and emotional aspect of her actions. Whenever she recovers from her alcohol and drug hangovers, she most likely goes through a cycle of guilt and shame. The scenario points out that she goes to the bar on Fridays, which means she is not there the rest of the week; she is sober during this other time. In her sober state, she may have time to reflect on her weekend actions and either feels helpless, unworthy, or scared of her risky living.

As mentioned above, Marian risks contracting sexually transmitted diseases and passing on the same to her multiple partners. Further, because she picks up strangers at the bar, she risks endangering her life because she likely does not do any background checks on them before inviting them to her home. The chances of going home with a serial killer/murderer or a wanted criminal are very high. She could very well invite a robber into her house or an escaped convict.

Marian may be diagnosed with Compulsive Sexual Behavior (Miner & Coleman, 2013). The treatment for her condition will involve joining a self-help group, medications, and psychotherapy. It is possible that Marian may be having an underlying psychological problem that compels her to engage in risky behavior. Thus, the first step will be to determine the underlying reasons why she risks her life through unprotected sex and drug abuse. However, for this to be successful, Marian will need to first recognize that she is sick and needs medical attention. This is because; she may be viewing her behavior as a way of releasing stress or simply having fun (Reidy et al., 2016). Persons that are referred to a psychologist first need to acknowledge their need for help, or else the treatment may be ineffective.

When Marian agrees to seek help, the psychologist will inquire about her past and present life to determine what triggers the risky behavior.  If, in this case, the patient is found to have a psychological propeller to such behavior, she will need to be assured that it is not her fault and that she, like any other patient, may visit another physician for a physical illness, requires help. The psychologist will also need to assure Marian that she can get better though it will need her full cooperation to get to full recovery. Once treatment starts, the goal will be to minimize urges and excessive behaviors while curtailing triggers.

Although results may not be seen immediately, the patient should be urged to adhere to the treatment. In the meanwhile, Marian will be educated on the health risks she faces from her behavior and why she needs to avoid relapses during the treatment period.  In the event a relapse occurs, Marian will need to be read- by using protection on herself, such as a female condom. She can also take additional measures to ensure that every time she goes to the bar, she has a designated taxi driver to drop her off alone. The driver will be on her phone’s speed dial and will be designated to take her to the pub and pick her up at a specific time (this is on days that she feels the urge to go to the bar). By having a person she is accountable to, she will have fewer incidences of bringing strangers back to her home. Lastly, the self-help group will have a mentor with whom Marian can confide anytime she feels she is on the brink of a relapse.


Miner, M. H., & Coleman, E. (2013). Compulsive sexual behavior and its relationship to risky sexual behavior. Sexual Addiction & Compulsivity, 20(1-2), 127-138.

Reidy, D. E., Brookmeyer, K. A., Gentile, B., Berke, D. S., & Zeichner, A. (2016). Gender role discrepancy stress, high-risk sexual behavior, and sexually transmitted disease. Archives of sexual behavior, 45(2), 459-465.


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Harm reduction

This Journal will give you the opportunity to explore a harm-reduction approach to prevention.

Read the following article about harm reduction, then read the scenario and answer the following questions:

Harm reduction: An approach to reducing risk health behaviours in adolescents: National Center for Biotechnology Information. Retrieved from:
  • Identify and list the risky behaviors in which Marian is engaging, as well as a rationale for why they are risky and the potential problems that can result. Then come up with a harm reduction strategy for Marian to increase her safety and reduce the risks to her personal safety and her health.

    Harm reduction

    Harm reduction

Marian has a history of drinking heavily at a local bar, where she often meets men and drives them home at the end of the night to use drugs and have sex. She attributes the fact that she does not use condoms to the substance use: by the time the sex occurs, she is often so high she forgets to use the condoms she has on hand, and when she does remember, her partners often resist condom use. Given that she is high, she doesn’t insist. Every Friday night, the cycle repeats itself. Marian visits the bar, finds a new partner, and engages in unprotected sex with him.
Post your response in the Journal Dropbox. Your response should be at least 350 words in length and use at least one scholarly source.

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