Harm Reduction Program
What is Harm Reduction?
Harm Reduction refers to policies, programs and practices which aim to reduce the negative health, social and economic consequences that may result from the use of both legal and illegal drugs, without necessarily reducing drug use. The cornerstones of Harm Reduction are public health, human rights and social justice.
Harm Reduction is underpinned with the knowledge that many drug-related problems are not the result of the drugs themselves; rather they are the consequences of the unregulated manufacture and trade of drugs and the enduring commitment to failed policies and ineffective and unfairly-applied laws.
Finally, Harm Reduction ensures that people who use substances are treated with respect and without stigma, and that substance-related problems and issues are addressed systemically.
Source: Canadian Harm Reduction Network
Harm Reduction Programs
Our programs and services are centred in community engagement and community members with expertise in substance use, homelessness and sex work are sought for many employment positions, and to inform program design and service delivery through project participation and committee work.
Overdose Prevention and Response: This public health emergency is alarming; we are extremely concerned about the high number of overdoses and overdose deaths. Toronto’s downtown east continues to experience unrelenting and extremely high rates of overdoses. We continue to take steps to respond through our OPS Service (click for more details about this service) and our naloxone distribution and training. Please see below.
We provide the distribution of, naloxone, sterile drug use equipment and condoms onsite Monday, Wednesday Thursday, Friday from 9:00 to 5:00pm and Tuesdays 11:00 to 5:00pm. Naloxone training is also provided during these hours.
Street Outreach: provides the distribution of condoms, sterile drug use equipment, and naloxone, as well as naloxone training. Support, referrals and education are provided. Shifts occur in the Moss Park and Regent Park areas on Tuesday and Friday afternoons. * The Mobile Health Bus - Moss Park offers expanded distribution, support and referrals during the evening and through the weekend. Please check the link on our website for additional details. For more information about street outreach call Natalie: 416 921-8668 ext: 284
Drop-In Programming: provides the distribution of condoms, sterile drug use equipment, and naloxone, as well as naloxone training, healthy food, monthly Hep C testing, individual support, educational workshops, referrals and community information. Programming includes a community kitchen, mindfulness meditation:
Monday afternoons 1:00pm – 3:00pm onsite at 338 Dundas East
Wednesday evenings 4:00pm – 7:00pm at All Saints Church/Community Centre
For more information call: Chaudhry: 416 921-8668 ext: 283
Kit-Making: weekly kit making groups assemble our safer drug use kits. Involving the community in this process, especially volunteers who also have lived experience with drugs and homelessness, helps to foster a greater sense of empowerment and belonging. For more information call: Chaudhry: 416 921-8668 ext: 283
The Community Harm Reduction Response Team: is a collaborative project that promotes and enhances capacity for low threshold harm reduction services. The model relies centrally on community engagement and is anchored in multiple community service agencies, offering a range of supports and services across the GTA. For more information call MaryKay: 416 921-8668 ext: 269
Street Health is a partner in the Cabbagetown Cleanup Program, which is comprised of local organizations who respond to requests to pick up discarded syringes in our neighbourhood. We also have an outdoor container for sharps disposal.
Beyond just offering supplies and education, we aim to provide a non-judgmental and accepting atmosphere that empowers clients instead of stigmatizing them based on their substance use.
For more information about our Harm Reduction programs and services,