At the FNHA, we see substance use as a health issue not a moral issue. The FNHA takes a harm reduction approach to addiction and substance use. Harm reduction is a public health approach that saves lives by minimizing harm and potential danger.
A harm reduction approach meets people where they are at with open arms, acceptance and compassion – not judgment or shame. A harm reduction approach recognizes that every life is valuable and that substance use and addiction are complex and challenging.
People who are experiencing addiction need support, not judgment. Stigma around drug use can be harmful. Stigma can cause more deaths, as shamed people are usually more reluctant to discuss their challenges with substance use or seek medical help.
First Nations peoples are disproportionately represented in toxic drug deaths in BC. The FNHA is responding to the toxic drug crisis with ways to get informed, get help, and support others – with facts, services and compassion. At the FNHA, we encourage everyone to adopt a harm reduction approach and to have conversations with friends and family members to keep themselves and each other safer.
FNHA Harm Reduction Policy:
FNHA Framework for Action: