Kristin Karas, Director of Programs at DanceSafe, was one of eight people to be invited to present at National Public Health Week in Greeley, Colorado this past week. As part of an initiative to recruit and raise awareness of public health programs, the Colorado School of Public Health hosted an ignite session called “Who and What is Public Health?” Karas captivated the audience with her enthusiasm for harm reduction as she explained DanceSafe’s services and programs, and why harm reduction is an important niche on the spectrum that is public health.
Karas explained that harm reduction recognizes individuals will choose to engage in risky behaviors regardless of the associated consequences. The prohibitionist nature of current drug policies have created unregulated and adulterated markets, increasing the risk of taking unknown and potentially more dangerous substances. “Harm reduction aims to mitigate the risks associated with such behaviors,” stated Karas. “For example, sex is a risky behavior, so we encourage the use of condoms. Similarly, drug use is a risky behavior and therefore we encourage the use of drug checking.” Because public health is concerned with the health of entire populations, harm reduction is vital and increasingly important for the nightlife communities.
To promote healthy lifestyle choices in these communities, DanceSafe’s services can be used effectively to minimize harm, and to keep people safe. To learn more about DanceSafe’s services or how to have DanceSafe at your event, reach out here.