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Between harm reduction, loss and wellness: on the occupational hazards of work

Overview of attention for article published in Harm Reduction Journal, January 2013
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About this Attention Score

  • In the top 25% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (93rd percentile)

Mentioned by

1 news outlet
12 tweeters
3 Facebook pages


24 Dimensions

Readers on

143 Mendeley
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Between harm reduction, loss and wellness: on the occupational hazards of work
Published in
Harm Reduction Journal, January 2013
DOI 10.1186/1477-7517-10-5
Pubmed ID

Benjamin C Shepard


Those working in the fields of harm reduction, healthcare, and human services must cope with a range of stresses, including post traumatic stress and vicarious trauma. Pain and loss are just a part of the job. So is dealing with premature death as a result of HIV, hypertension, and even overdose. Faced with a range of challenges, some workers in the field even turn to self-medication. For some, it is about pleasure; for others it is about alleviating suffering. In recent years, several leaders in the AIDS and harm reduction fields have died ahead of their time. Some stopped taking their medications; others overdosed. Rather than weakness or pathology, French sociologist Emile Durkheim saw self-destructive behavior as a byproduct of social disorganization and isolation, as a way of contending with a breakdown of social bonds and alienation. There are any number of reasons why such behavior becomes part of work for those involved with battling the dueling epidemics of Hepatitis C, HIV, and related concerns. Forms of stress related to this work include secondary trauma, compassion fatigue, organizational conflict, burnout, complications of direct services, and lack of funding. Faced with day-to- day struggles over poverty, punitive welfare systems, drug use, the war on drugs, high risk behavior, structural violence, and illness, many in the field are left to wonder how to strive for wellness when taking on so much pain. For some, self-injury and self-medication are ways of responding. Building on ethnographic methods, this reflective analysis considers the stories of those who have suffered, as well as a few of the ways those in the field cope with harm and pain. The work considers the moral questions we face when we see our friends and colleagues suffer. It asks how we as practitioners strive to create a culture of wellness and support in the fields of harm reduction, healthcare, and human services. Through a brief review of losses and literature thereof, the essay considers models of harm reduction practice that emphasize health, pleasure and sustainability for practitioners.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 12 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 143 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Spain 1 <1%
Hungary 1 <1%
India 1 <1%
Netherlands 1 <1%
Unknown 139 97%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Master 31 22%
Student > Ph. D. Student 20 14%
Student > Bachelor 18 13%
Student > Doctoral Student 12 8%
Researcher 11 8%
Other 22 15%
Unknown 29 20%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Psychology 29 20%
Medicine and Dentistry 24 17%
Social Sciences 18 13%
Nursing and Health Professions 14 10%
Business, Management and Accounting 4 3%
Other 22 15%
Unknown 32 22%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 21. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 05 September 2022.
All research outputs
of 21,996,566 outputs
Outputs from Harm Reduction Journal
of 888 outputs
Outputs of similar age
of 176,332 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Harm Reduction Journal
of 1 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 21,996,566 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 93rd percentile: it's in the top 10% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 888 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 28.0. This one has done well, scoring higher than 75% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 176,332 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 93% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 1 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has scored higher than all of them