Harm reduction

What is harm reduction?

  • Promotes healthy communities and helps communities provide services that are caring and sensitive to the needs of the community.
  • Helping people with risky behaviours reduce their risk and the risk to others.
  • Provides supports and services to improve overall health.
  • Contributes by strengthening services, advocating for the rights and dignity for those who use substances or have risky behaviours (i.e. reduce disease transmission, reduce the number of deaths due to overdose, and reduce violence).
  • Further information about the harm reduction can be found in the BC community guide.

Harm reduction programs and services vary by community and location:

  • Enhancing client resources, supports, skills and knowledge
  • Nursing services
  • Mental health and addictions services
  • Methadone maintenance programs
  • Condom distribution
  • Community health education
  • Distribution of harm reduction supplies (e.g. needle exchange)
  • Engaging clients and referrals to community resources

Contact your local Health unit to find information on the resources available in your community or visit Toward the Heart to find a harm reduction site in your community. 

Discarding a needle