Harm Reduction 101
If your agency has access to Shared Health Learning Management System, we recommend that you promote this online course with your staff. Go to http://sharedhealthmb.ca/health-providers/digitalhealth/lms (search Harm Reduction).
You may also want to access CATIE’s Harm Reduction Fundamentals: A toolkit for service providers. This 4 unit toolkit is available for free to complete at your own pace.
You may also want to check the workshops offered by Manitoba Harm Reduction Network. These workshops are offered at a fee.
WHRA Harm Reduction Position Statement provides an understanding on evidence-informed approaches to working with people who use drugs with a focus on the impact of the harms of criminalization and stigma on structurally disadvantaged populations, such as people experiencing homelessness, people who use intravenous substances, people who have a history of incarceration, people with disabilities, people who engage in survival sex work, and people who are impacted by colonialism. It expands the harm reduction perspective to sex work and the non-disclosure of HIV status. It provides guidance for action at organizational level.
The Manitoba Peer Advisory Council of the Association of Community Health (MACH) developed an Agency Self-Assessment Tool to support agency conversations around where harm reduction practice is at currently, and how to move a healing centered harm reduction practice forward. This tool would shed light on the creation of an Action Plan for your organization.
Harm reduction supply distribution
- Best Practice Recommendations for Canadian Harm Reduction Programs | CATIE — These recommendations will help service providers develop, redesign and evaluate programs for people who use drugs and who are at risk for HIV, hepatitis C, hepatitis B, and other harms.
- Ontario Harm Reduction Network (OHRN) | Home
- Connecting — Guide to using HR supplies as engagement tools.pdf (interiorhealth.ca)
- Harm-Reduction-Supply-Distribution-Self-Learning-Module-Sept2017.pdf (southernhealth.ca)
- Syringe Services Programs | National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
- An Evidence Brief: Needle and Syringe Exchange Programs
Working with people who use drugs
Caring For People Who Use Drugs — WRHA Professionals – Providing safe and inclusive care for people who use drugs starts with non-judgmental engagement. This involves an understanding that most drug use is not problematic. Problematic drug is defined as use that has negative consequences for the individual, their friends, family, and/or society. This webpage provides links to resources, strategies and tools intended to support health care providers and other staff to better meet the needs of people who use drugs.
Winnipeg Harm Reduction Network – involving a wide range of stakeholders this Network comes together to increase opportunities for agencies, community-based groups, and peers to share information, learn from each other, and address emerging issues in the community. If you are interested in learning more, or would like to join, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Manitoba Harm Reduction Network
- Trauma Informed Care | Alberta Health Services
- Harm Reduction Implementation Framework: An Evidence Brief
- EQUIP Equity Essentials — What every health and social service provider should know
Overdose/Poisoning Response Resources
Facility Overdose Response
Many organizations are seeking information and resources about dealing with overdose or poisoning in their facilities or in encounters with their clients. This includes having staff ready to administer naloxone. The provincial Take Home Naloxone Program, of which Street Connections is a distribution site does not offer naloxone training for occupational settings.
For staff training, check St. John’s Ambulance Opioid Response and Naloxone Programs
Many of Winnipeg’s First Aid training companies can offer an overdose response component. If your workplace provides routine First Aid/CPR certification, ask if overdose response training could be included in the next session.
For further consideration, the Province of Manitoba has developed recommendations for overdose prevention and response for service providers
For additional information, check Toward the Heart’s Naloxone Course
Naloxone kits are available for purchase at several other locations around Winnipeg and Manitoba. See a list of pharmacies that sell naloxone kits.
Take-Home Naloxone Distribution Program
Health care delivery sites that would like to distribute free Take-Home Naloxone kits to people at risk of opioid overdose, and family and friends of people who are at risk of opioid overdose can register as a naloxone distribution site. If your site does not currently distribute take-home naloxone kits, you may consider registering as a distribution site.
Overdose Response in Washrooms
For people who use substances who do not have access to private spaces for consumption, washrooms can provide a private space that feels safe. The establishment of safer washroom policies and procedures are part of an overdose response. The following link provides a checklist to assist in determining what this intervention may require depending on the physical space and washroom operations under consideration.
HSHR/PPH Documents and Reports
- Safer Washroom Evaluation (2019)
- HSHR Safer Smoking Assessment (2020)
- HSHR HR Supply Distribution Environmental Scan (2020)
- Safer Smoking: Introducing Bubble Smoking Equipment (2022)
- Winnipeg TRACKS Phase 4 Survey Report (2022)
- Test that Shit Study: A Drug Testing Pilot Project in collaboration with Meeting the Moment, Nine Circles (2022)
Other Local Evidence
Updated at the beginning of each quarter, this interactive report, provides up to date information on substance use and related harms in Manitoba. Four key data sources (Office of the Chief of Medical Examiner, Hospital Data, Emergency Medical Services, Take-Home Naloxone Kit Distribution data), and corresponding metrics are displayed, which are used in the ongoing surveillance of substance related harms.
Data from Winnipeg Fire and Paramedic Services (City of Winnipeg): cases where WFPS administered naloxone/Narcan and when responding to substance use-related medical emergency.
The Manitoba Collaborative Data Portal provides alternative and user-friendly representations of the data appearing in the City of Winnipeg Open Data Catalogue. This information can be found at:
Website aimed at providing clear, concise information about Supervised Consumption Sites and how they could be a tool in preventing overdoses and other negative health outcomes that can result from substance use. The is hosted by Sunshine House in collaboration with the Manitoba Harm Reduction Network — Supervised Consumption Sites and Manitoba | SaferSites.ca