What is Harm Reduction?
Harm reduction refers to policies, programmes and practices that aim to minimise negative health, social and legal impacts associated with drug use, drug policies and drug laws. Harm reduction is grounded in justice and human rights – it focuses on positive change and on working with people without judgement, coercion, discrimination, or requiring that they stop using drugs as a precondition of support. (Harm Reduction International 2021).
Harm Reduction is a proven public health approach that reduces the adverse health, social and economic outcomes related to a variety of risk associated activities. Harm reduction reduces harm to the individual, to families, and to the broader community.
Principles of Harm Reduction. (International Harm Reduction Association 2010)
- Is client-centered, non-judgmental, and facilitative, rather than coercive.
- Targets the causes of risks and harms.
- Is evidence-informed, practical, feasible, effective, safe, and cost-effective.
- Promotes autonomy and dignity.
- Is transparent, and accountable. It values meaningful engagement and participation of affected communities in the program and policy decisions that affect them.
- Challenges policies and practices that maximize harm. This includes criminalization, discrimination, abstinence-only services, and social inequities.
IRTC Harm Reduction Program believes in “Change Begins with Me” theme and offers “Holistic and Client/Community Centered” support in a multi-disciplinary approach.
The program supports member communities and independent communities in enhancing harm reduction services and support systems through existing community health and social care programs by investing in community capacity building in an ASSETS BASED COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT (ABCD) Model.
Examples of offered harm reduction services and/or supports:
- Outreach, education, and awareness (wide range of topics).
- Opioid overdose prevention and Naloxone training and support community distribution sites.
- Needle distribution support, Meth and Crack pipes supply support.
- Safer sex supplies distribution.
- Address stigma.
- Advocate for First Nation’s culturally sensitive practices.
IRTC Harm Reduction Program delivers culturally appropriate “Tailored and Targeted Interventions” in an evidence based blended (Indigenous and Western) “Two Eyed Seeing” approach.
For detailed information, please contact:
Lalith Nagella, Harm Reduction Coordinator/Tribal Wellness Supervisor
Mobile: 204 590 9603. Office: 204 956 7413
DOWNLOAD POSITION STATEMENT: IRTC Harm Reduction Position Statement