Risk taking behaviour is a normal part of human nature. Stopping a risk-taking behaviour may not be an option or a person’s choice. We want to help people decrease the risk associated with harmful behaviour.

Harm reduction aims to keep people safer by helping to decrease risk of harm to themselves, their families and the broader community. Harm reduction promotes health for the individual and advocates for policy level changes.

Examples of harm reduction include:

  • Use of bicycle helmets to reduce risk of injury in an accident
  • Use of sunscreen to prevent cancer
  • Use of safer sex supplies such as condoms to prevent infections such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis
  • Use of sterile needles when injecting drugs to prevent infections such as HIV and Hepatitis C
  • Shifting from injecting drugs to smoking drugs (reduces risk of transmitting infections)
  • Providing opioid overdose response kits to those who are using opioids

Southern Health-Santé Sud provides the following supplies:

  • Safer sex supplies – condoms, sex dams, gloves, water-based lubricant
  • Safer injection supplies
  • Opioid overdose response kits (naloxone)

Contact the local Public Health-Healthy Living office to find out where supplies are available near you.

Public Health Nurses connect with people who are using drugs to offer ways of using drugs in a safer way. For people who wish to reduce or stop drug use, the Public Health Nurse will help with referrals. Our aim is to treat everyone with respect and dignity, no matter their risk taking behaviour. A person who uses drugs is someone’s child, sibling, parent or friend. They deserve access to the services that will help them be healthy, the same as everyone else.