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There exists a plethora of social and recreational situations in which the potential for illicit drug and alcohol

use is high. Most notably as well as relevant is the usage associated with the college demographic . Drug and alcohol abuse is considered to be the leading cause of death for people in the age group of fifteen to twenty-four (Florida Institute of Technology 2011). The terminology drug use is a broad way of describing the consumption of drugs and related problems.

A harm reduction strategy promotes the idea that generally risky behaviors can be responsible by reducing or eliminating the risks of negative impacts (Single 1995). The applications of harm reduction philosophies have displayed success in the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases through the availability of safer sex education towards youth. Educational programs emphasizing the use of condoms and other contraceptives have been found to decrease risky sexual behavior and thus decrease the spread of sexually transmitted diseases (Johnson 2011). On the contrary, abstinence-only programs have shown no positive effect on STD reduction (Underhill, et. al 2009). It would be reasonable to assume that the success of the harm reduction strategies involved in sexually transmitted diseases is due to the reality that some youth will continue to be sexually active, and that the goals of an excessive abstinence-only philosophy is ideological at best and less practical. The implications of harm reduction in safer sex apply directly to the philosophy of responsible drug use (Department of Education and Training 2009). Harm reduction involving substances has therefore developed in response to the zero -tolerance ideals of strictly condemning and prohibiting illicit substance use, with the realization that some drug users
cannot be expected to cease their drug use at the present time (Single 1995).

The reduction of potential hazards associated with certain risky behaviors is best done with a strong set of principles. Responsible drug use is thus achieved through emphasis in health responsibilities, situational responsibilities, and safety-related responsibilities (Duncan & Gold 1982). First, situational responsibilities relates to the initial assumption that there is an undefined scope of social and recreational activities in which there is a potential for illicit drug use, and therefore to be knowledgeable of precautions to remember when in the social environment. Second, health responsibilities emphasize the importance of understanding the physiological consequences of drug use and the prevention of fatal doses. Third, safety-related responsibilities concern the safety precautions necessary to prevent unintentional injuries or fatalities, which happen to be the leading cause of death among youth (Center for Disease Control 2010).