Chicago Harm Reduction Therapy Center

Therapy and Substance Use Counseling

Harm Reduction

is an alternative to traditional all or nothing approaches to “addiction” treatment. Harm Reduction is based on humane, rational, and evidence based models of therapy.  As such, it recognizes that a strict 12 Step or Disease model doesn’t apply meaningfully to all people. It does recognize that we and our sources of unhappiness are complex and involve work, home, significant relationships, emotional experiences including trauma, and our means of coping on a daily basis.
We are here to help reduce the negative impact of drugs, alcohol, gambling, self injury, and the like on individuals, their families and communities.
If you would like to understand more on how this approach applies to you or how we can help, please contact us.

For those seeking help,

you may have decided you need help or are contemplating the need for change. You may have tried to get help for other problems and been told to stop drinking or using other drugs first. We know how frustrating this is. We don’t believe it helps. We are here to help you evaluate your unique problems and goals. We are here to help you explore options for meaningful change. We can provide means and tools for doing this.
If you are ready to begin or have reservations you may wish to discuss, please contact us.

For those who aren’t sure.

Much of the world’s population uses alcohol and drugs, or engages in a variety of behaviors moderately and without serious consequences. You may be one of these. If you aren’t sure, take the following into consideration.

How can you tell if you're using alcohol or other drugs safely?
    •    You drink or use mostly with other people, not alone.
    •    You don't drive (or ride a bike!) when you're high.
    •    You eat a regular diet and drink enough water.
    •    You are able to work, study and do other things you enjoy.
    •    You can say no if the time isn't right.

How can you tell if you're getting into trouble with alcohol or other drugs?
    •    You are using more than you want to.
    •    You are having trouble saying no when your friends offer even when you aren't in the mood to get high.
    •    You sometimes use more than you intended.
    •    Work, school, family or friends are suffering.

For help making this evaluation, contact us. We will listen and ultimately respect your decision.

For families and invested others

As Harm Reduction practitioners, we offer realistic alternatives to “tough love,” “hitting rock bottom,” and coercing loved ones into “rehab.” Expressing honest concern and care is more likely to help than advice or even demands. Doing this when feelings of hurt and anger are lower and the person isn’t, or is less high works better. You want to open up communication, not shut it down.
Let us know if we can help.

For professionals, students, and others

If you want help better understanding substance use and like behaviors or want to learn more about Harm Reduction, please contact us.