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Featured Projects

BC Drug Use Epidemiology

All available data related to substance use in BC is now available here in 7 short chapters!

This compiled report is brought to you by the BC Drug Overdose & Alert Partnership, a multi-sectoral committee established in 2011 to prevent and reduce the harms associated with substance use.

Communicating Drug Alerts

Alert posters are a great way to let people know about issues in your community.

We interviewed some service providers & peers about what messages should be included in these alerts.

Substance Use Trends

To understand differences in high-risk drug use, a BC-wide survey was initiated in 2012 at existing harm reduction supply distribution sites.

Regional differences in drug use have been identified and are informing harm reduction planning to improve health in this marginalized population. The 2012 & 2013 survey results can be found here.

Canadian Best Practice Recommendations

We worked with a team of researchers, service providers and people with lived experience to develop comprehensive recommendations to ensure that people who use drugs have access to high-quality services that prevent the spread of HIV, Hepatitis C and other infections.

Take Home Naloxone (THN) Program

Naloxone is a medication that reverses the effects of an overdose from opioids, such as heroin, methadone, and morphine.

BC has developed a Take Home Naloxone (THN) Program to help prevent overdoses and save lives.

Perceptions of People Who Smoke Crack Cocaine

This study explores the perceptions of persons who smoke crack cocaine in Vancouver regarding its use, effects and impacts on their health.

Perceptions of risk and suggestions related to harm reduction supplies and services are examined.

Health Effects from Tainted Cocaine

Cocaine in B.C. has been found to contain a substance called levamisole which can cause a condition called agranulocytosis that dramatically reduces white blood cells.

The Harm Reduction Journal published our research findings on the cases in BC and Alberta and how doctors can better treat patients after exposure.



Search for harm reduction sites in BC.


Public Health & Law Enforcement Partner to Curb Fentanyl-Related Overdoses

March 2nd, 2015

According to the BC Coroners Service, the number of illicit drug deaths where fentanyl has been detected increased from 5% in 2012 to over 25% in 2014. As many cases are stil under investigation, it is not possible to conclude whether fentanyl is a cause or contributory factor in these deaths. 

Concerned with this trend, BC's public health and law enforcement agencies have partnered to lauch Know Your Source, a public safety campaign aimed at raising awareness of toxicity of illicitly produced fentanyl. 

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid roughly 50-80 times more toxic than morphine and primarily prescribed to treat severe pain. However, illicitly produced fentanyl is being mixed into many street drugs & sold as pills or powders.

Learn more at Know Your Source or our Fentanyl page.


Reduce Hard

About Us

The Harm Reduction Program is part of the BC Centre for Disease Control. We believe every person has the right to the best health possible and should be treated with dignity and respect.

We advocate for a community-based participatory model where patients are partners. We see ourselves as 'co-learners' meaning we understand that clients are the ‘experts’ with lived experiences and, to reciprocate, we are open and share our knowledge and our expertise. We believe in including people who use illegal drugs from across BC in policy decisions and program changes.

About Harm Reduction

Harm reduction aims to keep people safe and minimize death, disease, and injury from high-risk behaviour. Harm reduction involves a range of support services and strategies to enhance the knowledge, skills, resources, and supports for individuals, families and communities to be safer and healthier.

The evidence shows it works and has many benefits for people who use substances, their families, and communities.

Educate about Safer Sex


a) BC public health & law enforcment agencies launch Know Your Source?: Be Drug Smart campaign to raise awareness of illicit fentanyl-related harms

b) CCENDU updates its Alert on Illicit Fentanyl across Canada. 

Supply Catalogue

Read Our Ezine

Jan 2015