Harm Reduction

Philosophy and Practice

Harm Reduction is a philosophy that supports the development of policies and programs that help people address the harmful effects of substance use including overdose, HIV, Hepatitis C, addiction, poverty, violence, isolation, homelessness and incarceration. Harm reduction programs promote methods of reducing the physical, social, emotional, and economic harms associated with drug and alcohol use and other harmful behaviors on individuals and their community.

Harm Reduction embodies certain principles including:
  • Pragmatism: accepts the near universal human cultural phenomenon of non-medical substance use.
  • Human Rights: respects the basic human dignity and rights of all people who use drugs.
  • Focus on Harms: prioritizes decreasing the negative consequences of drug use to the user and others.
  • Maximize Intervention Options: avoids a one-size-fits-all approach to interventions and recognizes the importance of a variety of different approaches.
  • Priority of Immediate Goals: meets the person where they are at and focuses on incremental gains that can be built over time.
  • Drug User Involvement: empowers drug users to join with service providers to determine the best interventions to reduce harm from drug use.

Blood Ties offers a full service harm reduction program: 

  • Safer injection equipment: needles, cookers, ties, swaps, sharps, and VitC
  • Safer Inhalation Kits (stem pipes and bubble pipes) 
  • Safer Snorting Kits (plastic or paper straws) 
  • Naloxone kits and Overdose prevention training
  • Fentanyl and Benzo Testing Program
  • Outreach nursing services on Wednesday afternoon
  • Drop-in programs for support, coffee, computer or phone use
  • Supportive listening, case management and health navigation
  • Health and harm reduction education programs
  • Free condoms and dental dams
  • Mitts, socks, hygiene supplies
  • Referral and advocacy services

Needle and Pipe Program at Blood Ties Four Directions Centre
405 Ogilvie St.
Weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
(867) 332-8268

Outreach Van
Every night from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m.
(867) 334-1647

In Yukon communities, please contact your local Mental Wellness and Substance Use Services Hub or Contact our Scale Up Coordinator Sophie at 867-332-8269 and we can direct you.

If You Find a Needle
IN WHITEHORSE:
  • Call Blood Ties Four Directions Centre at (867) 633-2437
    Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 noon and 1:00 to 4:30 p.m.
  • Call or text the Outreach Van at 867-334-1647 from Monday-Saturday 5:30pm to 9:30pm
  • Don’t put your hands anywhere there might be a needle hidden.
If you find a needle that has been thrown away, follow these steps:
  • If possible, have someone stay with the needle to prevent someone else from getting poked. 
  • During business hours, call Blood Ties at (867) 633-2437.
  • After hours, call the Outreach Van at (867) 334-1647.
  • Never use your hands to pick up a needle!
OUTSIDE WHITEHORSE:
  • Call the RCMP or the local Community Health Centre for advice.
  • If possible, have someone stay with the needle to prevent anyone from getting poked. 
  • Never use your hands to pick up a needle!
IF PRICKED BY A USED NEEDLE:
  • Immediately call Yukon Communicable Disease Control at (867) 667-8323 or Whitehorse General Hospital at (867) 393-8700