Many people are unaware of the health risks associated with high risk activities and education is paramount in reducing harm, and increasing public health and safety.
The basis of harms reduction is to recognize that many people are addicted to the drugs they are using and will continue to drugs because they are either unable or unwilling to stop.
Harm reduction focuses on specific risks and harms associated with high risk behaviours in order to reduce these risks and harms. By identifying specific harms, and their causes, harm reduction can be adapted to address the needs of the user. By meeting the safety needs of users, harms reduction can help keep the user safer and healthier, which can lessen the long-term health costs of that individual. This also helps public safety by lessening the spread of infectious diseases.
Harms reduction allows people to gain control over their situation. When people gain control over how they use, they can subsequently gain control when and if they will use. Harm reduction provides options when previously no options where recognized .This empowers the individual to make safer choices, leading to increased health, well-being, and the possibility of a more positive future.
Harm Reduction Supply Distribution Program
The Port Alberni Shelter Society offers harms reductions supplies for safer sex only, such as female condoms, male condoms and lubricant. These supplies are available from the case management office Mon. - Fri. 8am to 4pm. Harms reduction supplies are available in Port Alberni through the Health Unit located at 4227 6th Street, Port Alberni, V9Y 4N1 (250) 731-1315.Hours are Mon - Fri, 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. This program provides publicly funded new injection drug use, and safer drug smoking supplies, as well as female condoms, male condoms and lubricant to reduce the harms associated with unprotected sex, injection and smoking drugs. This program helps keep individuals safe and minimize death, disease, and injury from high risk behaviour. Disease testing and inoculations are also available at the Health Unit or through the Port Alberni Shelter every Monday from 10am to 12 noon.
Tuberculosis Skin Test - North and Central Island
Tuberculosis testing is available in Port Alberni through the Health Unit located at 4227 6th Street, Port Alberni, V9Y 4N1 (250) 731-1315.Hours are Mon - Fri, 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. This program assists in the treatment and prevention of tuberculosis in the public. Testing is also available through the Port Alberni Shelter.
HealthLinkBC (2011) “Services Offered at This Location” Retrieved May 10,
2011, from http://find.healthlinkbc.ca/search.aspx?d=LC054430&ds=SL001753
International Harm Reduction Association (2010) “What is Harm Reduction?” Retrieved May 10, 2011, from http://www.ihra.net/files/2010/08/10/Briefing_What_is_HR_English.pdf
Alberta Non-Prescription Needle Use (NPNU) Consortium (2000) “Harm Reduction Information Kit” Retrieved May 11, 2011, from http://www.acsw.ab.ca/pdfs/hrk_english.pdf