Harm Reduction 101

Harm Reduction is a health promotion approach that aims to decrease the negative consequences of risk behavior

Harm reduction is the attempt to keep people as safe and healthy as possible in their given practices and lifestyle realities. It stems from the realization that drug use and other high risk behaviours are pervasive in society. By providing and enhancing knowledge, skills, resources, and support, we reduce the harm done to those engaging in these behaviours and to the overall community.

Harm reduction recognizes that building positive and supportive relationships with individuals who engage in high risk behaviors is vital to moving individuals along the spectrum towards better health outcomes.

Examples of Harm Reduction in Our Community

  • Operation Red Nose
  • TRAC Youth Outreach
  • PARTY Program
  • Safe Grad
  • Needle Distribution Programs
  • D.O.T. Team
  • Helmets (bike, motorcycle)
  • Seatbelt Legislation

Harm Reduction Frequently Asked Questions

  • why do we need harm reduction plans?

    Harm reduction strategies reduce the physical, social and economic consequences of risk behaviors.

  • what does our harm reduction plan entail?

    • Distribution of sterile needles, swabs, and “sharps” disposal containers.
    • Safe disposal of used needles.
    • Condom distribution.
    • Provision of risk-reduction information.
    • Medically supervised drug consumption.
    • Connecting clients to community resources.
  • What are the benefits of harm reduction plans?

    • Provides community services to hard-to-reach individuals and marginalized populations.
    • Can help motivate individuals towards positive changes through small steps.
    • Improves the health and safety of individuals and your community.
    • Prevention of health problems, such as HIV and Hepatitis C, thus reducing health care expenditures.