Call for culturally-aware crisis support for Indigenous peoples in B.C.
Many activities in life involve some level of risk, but there are ways to reduce the potential harm associated with these types of activities.
It’s called harm reduction, and it’s about keeping yourself and others safer when doing things that involve risk.
For example, using safer sex supplies like condoms reduce the risk of contracting and spreading Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs). As well, following lower risk drinking guidelines can reduce the short and long term effects of alcohol use, like alcohol-related injury and cancer.
When it comes to substance use, harm reduction strategies and services saves lives. Harm reduction prevents substance use-related harms, including overdose. It also includes things like sterile needle distribution which helps curb the spread of infections, like HIV and Hepatitis C.
Harm reduction meets people where they are in life and can be a stepping-stone in their recovery journey.
If you or someone you know uses drugs, stay safer by:
There are many benefits of finding ways to stay safer. Harm reduction can improve your social, physical, emotional and spiritual wellbeing. It also helps you connect with others and develop healthy relationships.
Non-judgmental approaches and services to reduce harm are available to all people who needs them. These supports treat people with respect and help save lives.
For support online and in your community to stay safer:
Online information and resources that help people live well, prevent and manage mental health and substance use challenges.
Find quality information, learn new skills, and connect with key resources in B.C. Explore strategies to help you take care of your mental health and use substances in healthier ways and learn how you can support a loved one.
A free app that connects people to emergency responders automatically if they become unresponsive while using drugs.
Lifeguard App app gives people who use drugs one more way to stay safer. It empowers people who use drugs to take charge of their health and helps them to survive accidental overdose.
When someone is about to use a drug, especially alone, they can open the app and record the type of substance they are using and confirm their location. The app will hold this information, and a timer is set which can be paused or extended by the app user at any time.
App users can access treatment options quickly and easily, directly through the app. This means that users can remain safer until they are ready to start their journey to recovery.
bc211 is a free, confidential information service that helps you find community, government and social services in B.C.
Search online for programs and services that cover everything from mental health services and financial assistance to food banks and emergency shelters.
Phone: bc211 provides support by phone in over 150 languages across B.C, available 24 hours, seven day a week. Access for the deaf or hard of hearing community available at 1-604 875-0885.
Text: Text the name of your city to 2-1-1 in Metro Vancouver, Fraser Valley, Squamish-Lillooet, Sunshine Coast Regional Districts, Vancouver Island, or the Gulf Islands to chat with an Information & Referral Specialist, seven days a week between 8am to 11pm.
Chat: Available from anywhere in B.C. through web chat between 8am to 11pm, seven days a week.
bc211 is provided by 211 British Columbia Services Society.