Harm Reduction


What is Harm Reduction?

Harm Reduction is an evidence-based, client-centred approach that seeks to reduce the health and social harms associated with addiction and substance use, without necessarily requiring people who use substances from abstaining or stopping. Included in the harm reduction approach to substance use is a series of programs, services and practices. Essential to a harm reduction approach is that it provides people who use substances a choice of how they will minimize harms through non-judgemental and non-coercive strategies in order to enhance skills and knowledge to live safer and healthier lives.

Harm reduction acknowledges that many individuals coping with addiction and problematic substance use may not be in a position to remain abstinent from their substance of choice. The harm reduction approach provides an option for users to engage with peers, medical and social services in a non-judgemental way that will ‘meet them where they are’. This allows for a health-oriented response to substance use, and it has been proven that those who engage in harm reduction services are more likely to engage in ongoing treatment as a result of accessing these services. Some harm reduction initiatives have also reduced blood borne illnesses such as HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis C, and have decreased the rates of deaths due to drug overdoses.

North House proudly offers a harm reduction program that is available to community members across north Durham. Supplies are available upon walk-in, but it is best to call in advance to ensure a caseworker is available.

Supplies are not limited to the user, but are limited by quantity on site.

North House does not have narcotics on-site, does not distribute medications or substances of any kind, and does not operate as a safe-injection site. Substances must not be used in or on property.

As a partner of the Durham Region Health Department, North House is able to provide both training and kits for Naloxone.

Supplies Available

Injection Supplies:

  • Regular/Long Needles
  • Short Needles
  • Alcohol Swabs
  • Filters
  • Sterile Waters
  • Tourniquets
  • Vitamin C
  • Cookers (Spoons)

Inhalation Supplies:

  • Foil
  • Straight Stems
  • Bowl Pipes
  • Mouthpieces
  • Push Sticks
  • Brass Screens


  • Fentanyl Testing Kits
  • BZK Towelettes
  • Naloxone Spray Kits

Safe Sex Supplies:

  • Condoms
  • Lube

Sharps Containers:

  • X-Small
  • Small
  • Medium
  • Large


  • Naloxone Training
  • Safe Use Education