Health & Wellness
What is Harm Reduction?
Harm reduction’s philosophies are simple:
- reduce the harm associated with substance use by meeting folks where they are at
- discuss behaviour related to substance use
- provide supplies for safe consumption.
Harm reduction approaches don’t say “Just don’t use drugs,” because abstinence is only one of many options. Instead, harm reduction arms people with information in order to make their choices safer.
We all practice harm reduction in various ways in our lives already. For example, we know that people are killed by cars every year, but we don’t stop driving. One way to reduce the harm associated with driving is putting a seatbelt on. Another is driving sober. While these measures haven’t eliminated deaths, those rules have reduced the number of deaths.
How to Take a Harm Reduction Approach
- Test your substances before you take them.
- Use clean supplies for each use.
- Make sure that people can access detox in a timely manner if they want to stop using substances.
- Have a safe consumption site with harm reduction supplies and medical support.
How can I get my substances tested?
Where can I get harm-reduction supplies?
Check out Manitoba 211 (opens in new window) and search Harm Reduction Supplies.
Learn More About Harm Reduction
Check out additional resources available to you