How to Harm Reduction: Centering Harm Reduction Principles and Practices -...

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Vancouver Island Conference Center, Lantzville Room

101 Gordon Street

Nanaimo, BC V9R 5J8


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Vancouver Island Harm Reduction Capacity Building Project

Harm Reduction has grown by leaps and bounds since the declaration of the overdose crisis, and so too has our need to keep pace with this growing field of knowledge and praxis.

Please join us for this interactive workshop series, where we will explore the principles and values that underpin Harm Reduction, while also providing a firm foundation in the trade craft of service provision and care for people who use substances. These workshops are ideal for both those new to the world of Harm Reduction, and those who are looking to deepen their skill and knowledge level. The workshops will be facilitated by AVI staff with experience (some lived, some not) in the world of harm reduction, drug use, and service provision.

Bursaries are available to community-based organizations, to assist with the lost wage costs of sending staff to these events. Please indicate during registration if you need this support. Lunch and snacks will also be provided.

- Registration will start at 9:00 am in the Dodd Narrows Room A, and the event will take place between 9:30 am and 5:00 pm. -

We want this training to be as relevant as possible for participants. Please see below for a description of workshop topics, and then fill out the following quick needs assessment survey by February 29: click here. The agenda for the day will be determined based on the results of the survey. Participants will be notified of the final schedule by March 2nd.

Topics to be covered include:

Harm Reduction Philosophy and Practice

    • History and origins of prohibition and the harm reduction movement
    • Principles and values that inform harm reduction practice
    • Reflection on personal experiences and values and how they relate to harm reduction
    • Strategies to put harm reduction principles and values into practice

Vein Care and Safer Injection

  • The benefits and risks of different injection sites on the body
  • Injection practices that increase safety and pleasure
  • Aftercare for injecting

Injection-Related Harms

  • Symptoms of the most common injection-related infections
  • Strategies to avoid injection-related infections
  • Care for injection-related infections or injuries

Safer Smoking

  • Overview of the supplies and practices to reduce harms of smoking heroin, crack, and crystal meth


  • How HIV is transmitted
  • Effective strategies for preventing HIV transmission
  • HIV testing procedures
  • Treatment and support for folks living with HIV

Hepatitis C Basics

  • How hepatitis C is transmitted
  • Hepatitis C testing procedures
  • Treatment and support for folks living with hepatitis C
  • Strategies to reduce harms related to hepatitis C

Overdose Prevention & Response

  • Recognizing factors that can increase or decrease overdose risk
  • How to recognize depressant (including opioid) and stimulant overdoses
  • How to respond to an overdose using the SAVE ME steps

This event is taking place on the territory of the Snuneymuxw Nation. We would like to express our sincere gratitude for the ability to live and work on these lands. We also acknowledge the historic and ongoing link between colonization and the war on people who use drugs on the land commonly referred to as “Canada”, and the disproportionate impact of criminalization, the overdose crisis, Hepatitis C, and HIV/AIDS on Indigenous peoples as an ongoing impact of colonization.

Accessibility Info for this event:

  • This event is free; participants must register in advance
  • The venue is wheelchair and scooter-accessible
  • There is parking available at the venue
  • We have capacity for 20-25 people for this offering of the training
  • There are gender-neutral, wheelchair accessible washrooms available
  • In consideration of others, please avoid wearing and using scented products in the space; we cannot guarantee the absence of scented products
  • The workshops will take place in a room with large windows with natural light
  • Coffee, tea, snacks, and lunch will be provided; please indicate your dietary restrictions during registration
  • We have endeavored to create interactive workshops with information presented in a variety of formats, and to include captioning and audio wherever possible
  • If you would like copies of the presentations or notes in advance, please let us know. We may not cover everything in the presentations, but we can make the material available to you.

If you have accessibility needs or questions that are not addressed here, please contact Taylor Teal at or 250-384-2366 ext. 3112.

Funding for this project is provided by the Community Action Inititative.

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Vancouver Island Conference Center, Lantzville Room

101 Gordon Street

Nanaimo, BC V9R 5J8


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