Harm Reduction
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Keeping people safe from disease and injury

Harm reduction aims to keep people safe and minimize death, disease, and injury from behavior such as substance use and sexual activity. Harm reduction is based on the understanding that people engage in activities that involve risk and the goal is to reduce those risks. A range of services and strategies are provided including services for people at risk, as well as professional and community development. 

Harm reduction services include:


Needle Distribution: In B.C., a needle distribution policy was introduced in 2002, supported by the BC Centre for Disease Control, Ministry of Health and the Best Practice Recommendations for Canadian Harm Reduction Programs. While there is strong support for needle distribution, people may have questions about the effectiveness of needle distribution and safe needle disposal. This information sheet aims to address these questions.
Safe Needle Disposal: Information on how to safely dispose of needles and evidence-based strategies to improve safe needle disposal in communities.
Community Needle Stick Injuries: Injuries or pokes from discarded needles found in community settings such as parks, streets or beaches can cause concern and people are concerned about the transmission of blood-borne viruses. This information sheet outlines the risks of community needle stick injuries and what to do if a needle stick injury occurs.

Toward the Heart: Harm reduction website developed by the BC Centre for Disease Control. Includes information on overdose prevention, naloxone, safer sex as well as a site finder to help locate harm reduction services across the province. 

Overdose Prevention: signs and tips to prevent overdose.

Harm Reduction: A Community Guide:  Ministry of Health manual to assist BC municipalities in taking a leadership and facilitative role to reduce the level of drug related harm in their communities.
Disposing of needles safely:  Outlines steps to take if you find an improperly discarded needle. 

Find harm reduction services

Harm reduction services and supplies:  A list of Interior Health locations offering harm reduction services.

Take Home Naloxone program locations in Interior Health: List of public health centres, mental health and substance use offices and community agencies that offer the Take Home Naloxone program.  

BC harm reduction site finder: Naloxone, safer sex and drug use supplies, overdose prevention and supervised consumption across BC

Overdose prevention/supervised consumption sites: List of locations and hours of operation for overdose prevention/supervised consumption sites in Interior Health.   

Contact us

Contact Harm Reduction by email


MoH     PCQO