Sector News

  1. Posted in:

    Principles of Harm Reduction: Back to Basics

    Most of you reading this are experts in harm reduction, but sometimes it’s nice to remind ourselves of some of the core principles of harm reduction.

    The Harm Reduction Coalition has a simple and concise webpage summarizing:

    Key Principles Central to Harm Reduction Practice

    This is also a great resource to share with staff and students who may be new to harm reduction.

  2. Drug Internet Forums: What Are They About?

    We are hearing more and more about unregulated novel psychoactive substances (NPS) which are often referred to as “legal high” and “designer drugs”. Many times these substances are bought and sold through online vendors, but did you know there are online forums where people can gather and share information about the NPS they are using? In a recently published qualitative study, researchers analyzed these online forums and identified the following themes: 1) uncovering the substance facts, 2) dosage and administration, 3) subjective experience, and 4) support and safety. The research team concluded that people who use NPS access these online forums to support each other and keep one another safe. If you’re interested in reading the full study check it out here.

  3. Need to have ‘the talk’ about alcohol and drugs with your youth?

    It’s not easy to talk to young people about alcohol and drugs, but this article in summarized a few key tips in a quick and easy way. A few things the article suggested included:

    • Establish and develop a strong rapport with your child in their early years
    • Listen to your child, ask their opinion, and let them problem-solve without parents imposing solutions first
    • Address drinking early and often
    • If you really want to discuss something important, set a time and place so your child feels ready and comfortable to have the discussion
    • For more information visit:   
  4. The Power of Language

    The National Collaborating Centre for Determinants of Health (

    hosts a ‘Let’s talk’ series and recently released an issue entitled:

    Populations and the Power of Language.

    This short read describes how language influences attitudes, summarizes the pros and cons of common words service providers use to describe populations we work with, and provides service providers an opportunity to reflect on the language used in their work place setting.

  5. Celebrating the 1st Annual International Harm Reduction Day

    Today, May 7 2014, marks the 1st Annual International Harm Reduction Day and OHRDP is excited to be celebrating this day with you. We want to thank everyone working in a harm reduction capacity for everything they do to keep individuals and communities as safe as possible from the effects associated with drug use. To summarize our feelings about harm reduction we want to share a quote from Amy Katz at the Centre for Research on Inner City Health that describes the work we do in harm reduction so well…

    “There is something, in my opinion, very beautiful about harm reduction. It’s an approach that looks at reality in all its complexity and says: okay. I see that life is not simple. I see you are doing things people who love you wish you wouldn’t. I see that you are an irreplaceable and precious human being. Let’s use evidence to figure out the best way to keep you, the people around you, and your community as safe as we possibly can.”

    Keep up the good work everyone.

  6. What is Harm Reduction?

    Dr. Bernie Pauly was featured in a Matters of Substance blog post hosted by the Centre of Addiction Research of BC. She describes harm reduction in a compelling manner in this plain language summary.

    Read Summary

  7. The Best Practices and Barriers: An update for Ontario Needle Exchange Programs

    This report assesses the extent to which the Best Practice Recommendations (2006) have been implemented, identifies implementation barriers and advances our knowledge transfer skills to improve uptake.

    Click Here to view report – in English

    Click Here to view report – in French