Moves Toward Harm Reduction And Prevention For Canada’s Opioid Crisis

supervised injection nurse needle

Harm reduction and prevention techniques for addressing the opioid epidemic has been met with controversy around the world. Due to the nature of such measures, many claim that it will do more harm than good, supporting an addict’s addiction rather than forcing them to get help. The global opioid crisis has reached such drastic proportions in daily overdose deaths that government officials worldwide are looking to first keep their citizens alive while then working on a solution for recovery. In various countries, now including Canada, harm reduction and prevention are two ways of doing that.

Safe use clinics, hygienic needle exchanges, supervised use clinics, and safe houses, are some of the most common methods for harm reduction and prevention. Areas in Canada like Ontario are moving toward supervised injection clinics, according to The Globe And Mail. Though the details of each measure vary from one country to the next, the general idea behind the initiatives is the same.

Supervised Injection Clinics

Nurses and trained staff specializing in overdose treatment are on site at a specified location to assist intravenous drug users in the case of an overdose. Typically, these sites are equipped with Naloxone, the opioid overdose reversal drug. Canada has been having a difficult time sourcing and funding this drug. Usually, supervised injection clinics build relationships with nearby treatment centers and detox facilities. Though the staff is not encouraged to make aggressive suggestions for treatment, should someone decide that they are ready for help, there is accommodation waiting for them. Other countries have found that the safe use methods help reduce the stigma and shame of intravenous drug addiction, which are frequently two sources of fuel for the addiction. By recognizing the reality of their behaviors, addicts seem to essentially wake up and ask for help. In a way, the safety and security takes away from part of the rush of the drug use experience. Rather than being shamed and shunned, addicts feel that there are people acting in their best interest. Feeling more trusting and accepted, they are likely to reach out for resources.


Aurora Recovery Center opens its doors to the men and women of Canada seeking treatment for opioid addiction. From medically assisted detox to a transitional system of treatment, our program is designed to help you learn how to heal and live without addiction. If you’re ready to stop and get help, call us today at 844-515-STOP.

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