The opioid crisis continues to make its presence known throughout Canada. The issue is exacerbated by the stigma surrounding people who use substances. Societal stigma can pose as a barrier — preventing people from seeking help for their condition. Harm reduction is a term used to describe public health approaches designed to minimize negative consequences related to misusing substances (i.e. alcohol and drugs). This approach involves a range of policies, practices and programs proven to reduce the harms that may be associated with substance use. Safe consumption sites, needle exchanges, opioid substitution programs, education and naloxone are all examples of harm reduction efforts. This video delves into the origins of the opioid crisis, the disastrous effects of stigma, the importance of harm reduction and ways through which we can implement this practice into our lives.
This video was made possible with the collaboration of Tim Clemont, the director of the Hamilton AIDS network, and Shifting Perceptions Podcast, a podcast dedicated to discussing harm reduction and substance use.