Harm reduction refers to policies, programs and practices that seek to reduce the adverse health, social and economic consequences of the use of legal and illegal psychoactive substances. Harm reduction is pragmatic and focuses on keeping people safe and minimizing death, disease and injury associated with higher risk behaviour, while recognizing that the behaviour may continue despite the risks.
Harm reduction is an essential part of a comprehensive public health response to problematic substance use that complements prevention, treatment and enforcement. A harm reduction philosophy should inform strategies directed at the whole population, as well as specific programs aimed at sub-populations of vulnerable people to enhance the knowledge, skills, resources, and supports for individuals, families and communities to be safer and healthier.
For more information on supports and resources relating to Harm Reduction please see the links below: