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Safer substance use

The National Overdose Response Services Line (NORS) is an overdose prevention hotline for Canadians, providing compassionate, confidential, and nonjudgmental support for people, whenever and wherever they use drugs.  If using drugs alone, call or text (Canada only) 1-888-688-6677 (NORS).

Learn how you can help friends and family who use substances stay safe when using drugs by watching this video created by the Canadian Association of People Who Use Drugs (CAPUD):  How to Spot Someone so They Never Use Alone.

Safer substance use (harm reduction) recognizes that quitting the use of substances may not be right for everyone. It is important for information to be available to ensure that all people have the opportunity to be as safe and well as possible.

Safer substance use (harm reduction) can:

  • reduce the transmission of HIV, Hepatitis B & C from sharing equipment, keeping people healthier and decreasing healthcare costs,
  • provide education on the benefits of using new needles, smoking and other drug equipment,
  • reduce the number of overdoses and deaths from substance use,
  • provide a supportive safe environment where individuals can access health, counselling, and social services.

A variety of resources can help ensure safer substance use.

Currently SMDHU offers:

  • Safe injecting kits
  • Safe smoking kits
  • Naloxone kits
  • Disposal bins/receptacles
  • Education

Supervised consumption services (Consumption and Treatment Service) sites provide a safer environment for people to use substances.  In addition, they offer a wide spectrum of resources and support, and provide the opportunity to refer individuals to other community services available to help people remain as healthy and safe as possible.  This may include information about treatment options if requested.

Additional information about safer substance use can be found here:

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