Harm Reduction


Harm Reduction refers to those interventions, including programs and policies that aim to reduce the potentially adverse health, social and economic outcomes of substance use and can include (but do not require) abstinence from substances. Harm Reduction is an evidence-based, cost-effective approach, bringing benefits to the individual, communities, and society through a wide-range of activities such as, promoting safer use practices, reducing stigma, and increasing access to services that address the social determinants of health.



We invite you to download our 2020-2022 workplan document here.

Terms of Reference

Terms of Reference Objectives:
  1. Reduce stigma and discrimination faced by individuals who use substances and promote awareness that substance use can affect people, families, and communities of all social, economic, and cultural backgrounds.
  2. Identify and model/practice non-stigmatizing language when working with the public, service providers and individuals who use substances
  3. To strengthen the health and wellness of the North Bay and area communities with respect to substance use while reducing substance-related harms including, but not restricted to, harms relating to addiction, drug poisoning and overdose.
  4. Raise awareness of the risks of overdose and how to prevent fatalities resulting from drug toxicity.


Major Achievements

Resources pertinent to this Pillar

  • Black Balloon Day
    March 6 is national and international event, aim to bring awareness, education, and support to overdose deaths.
    Black Balloon Day was created from Diane and Lauren Hurley, in remembrance of their son, Greg Trembly, who died of an overdose on Marcy 6, 2016.
    For further information, please visit:
    and www.momsstoptheharm.com/events/2022/2/6/black-balloon-day
  • International Harm Reduction Day
    On May 7
    th, International Harm Reduction Day aims to promote evidence based public health policy, practices, and human rights.
    For further information, please visit:
  • International Overdose Awareness Day
    On August 31, International Overdose Awareness Day is an awareness campaign to end overdose, remember without stigma those who have died, and acknowledge the grief of the family & friends left behind.
    For further information, please visit:
  • National Overdose Response Service – NORS (Canada):
    NORS is an 24/7 overdose prevention hotline for Canadians providing loving, confidential, nonjudgmental support for you, whenever and wherever you use drugs.
    Using Alone? Call NORS before or while you are using drugs, to help you stay safe.

Canada -Only 1-888-688-NORS(6677)
Call Never Use Alone (USA only): 1-800-484-3731
Mobile App (Global): The Brave App

For further information, please visit:

  • Safe Use of Handling Sharps Training:
    North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit:
    AIDS Committee North Bay & Area:
  • Safer Use Supplies (Needle Exchange Programs):
    AIDS Committee of North Bay & Area:
    North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit:

    Other local NEPS, please visit:
  • Canada’s Source for HIV and hepatitis C information (CAITE):
    CAITE provides Harm reduction education, resources, and support. CATIE is Canada’s source for accessible, evidence-based information about HIV and hepatitis C prevention, testing, care, treatment and support.
    For further information, please visit:


  • Ontario Harm Reduction Network (OHRN)
    OHRN supports harm reduction efforts in Ontario by offering knowledge exchange, networking and capacity – building opportunities to harm reduction service providers and agencies.
    For further information, please visit:
  • Ontario Addiction Treatment Centre (OATC)
    OTC committed to improve the lives of individuals living with the devastating effects of drug addiction, and lessening the adverse impact on families and society as a whole, through the provision of a range of harm reduction and supportive treatment modalities (Methadone program, Suboxone Program, etc.)
    For further information, please visit:
  • Moms Stop The Harm:
    Moms Stop the Harm calls for an end to the failed war on drugs through evidence -based prevention, treatment and policy change. They support a harm reduction approach that is both compassionate and non-discriminatory for people who use substances.  It includes support and empowerment of families to use their voices without shame, to share their stories and to advocate for positive change (they advocate to end substance use related, stigma, harms, and death).

For further information, please visit:

  • Good Samaritan Act
    Legal protection granted by the Act The Good Samaritan Drug Overdose Act provides some legal protection for people who experience or witness an overdose and call 911 or their local emergency number for help. The Act can protect you from:

*Charges for possession of a controlled substance (i.e. drugs) under section 4(1) of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act
*Breach of conditions regarding simple possession of controlled substances (i.e. drugs) in:

    • pre-trial release
    • probation orders
    • conditional sentences
    • parole

The Good Samaritan Drug Overdose Act applies to anyone seeking emergency support during an overdose, including the person experiencing an overdose. The Act protects the person who seeks help, whether they stay or leave from the overdose scene before help arrives. The Act also protects anyone else who is at the scene when help arrives.

Save a life: Drug overdoses could happen with others around. Staying at the scene is important to help save the life of the person experiencing an overdose.
Witnesses should:

  • call for emergency help
  • be prepared by carrying naloxone to use if you suspect an opioid overdose
  • provide first aid, including rescue breathing (CPR), if necessary, until emergency help arrives
  • stay calm and reassure the person that help is on the way
  • Tell others about the Good Samaritan Drug Overdose Act.
    For further information, please visit: