Position Statement on Harm Reduction

In 2016, the Harm Reduction Position Statement has been revised in two important ways. First, the Statement explicitly moves away from focusing on programs and services for individuals. Second, it reaffirms the WRHA’s commitment to evidence-informed approaches to working with people who use drugs, while extending this perspective to sex work and the non-disclosure of HIV status.

This Position Statement acknowledges the harms caused by stigma and criminalization. In particular, it acknowledges that the harms of criminalization are borne disproportionally by Indigenous peoples in Canada. The Statement recognizes that while people make their own health decisions, these decisions are only one factor influencing health outcomes. It also confirms harm reduction as an effective and viable approach throughout the organization.