Harm reduction involves a range of support services and strategies to enhance the knowledge, skills, resources, and supports for individuals, families and communities to be safer and healthier.
A range of services is available to prevent harms from substance use. Some examples include:
- Overdose prevention and response training: Provide training and take home naloxone kits to reduce opioid overdose-related harms and deaths
- Impaired driving prevention campaigns: Create awareness of the risks of driving under the influence of alcohol and other legal or illegal substances
- Peer support programs: Groups for people who use substances - to improve their quality of life and to address gaps in services
- Needle distribution programs: Distribute clean needles and other harm reduction supplies and educate on their safe disposal
- Outreach and education: Make contact with people who use substances to encourage safer behaviour
- Substitution therapies: Substitute illegal heroin with legal, non-injection methadone or prescription heroin
- Supervised consumption facilities: Prevent overdose deaths and other harms by providing a safer, supervised environment for people using substances
The British Columbia Harm Reduction Strategies and Services (HRSS) Committee provides the structure to facilitate coordination between of the Ministry of Health, Provincial Health Services Authority, First Nations Health Authority, the five regional health authorities and other key stakeholders in work related to harm reduction in British Columbia (BC). For HRSS guidelines and policy documents, see Resources.
Learn about the latest activities of the BCCDC Harm Reduction Program here.