Harm reduction is a strategy that is used in multiple areas of health care. For example, rather than advocating abstinence from sexual activity, we advocate the use of condoms to prevent the spread of sexually transmitted infections.
Harm reduction is also an approach to drug use that seeks to minimize the harms associated with drug use and drug policy without requiring the individual to have a goal of abstinence. We know that people will always use drugs: to avoid psychological pain/trauma, to relieve physical pain, and to enhance creativity or pleasure. A number of AOHC members offer harm reduction programs for people who use drugs, including providing safer injection and smoking supplies and supervised injection sites.
- AOHC Statement on Harm Reduction and the Overdose Crisis (2017)
- Information Sheet on Harm Reduction and the Overdose Crisis (2018) - (English/French)