August 25, 2021
Harm Reduction Approach and Resources

What is harm reduction?

Harm reduction strategies, such as biohazard containers, needle exchanges, safe sex supplies and harm reduction supportive literature, are important elements in our clients’ recovery journeys.

At LOFT, we recognize that total abstinence may not be immediately attainable or desired by some of our clients. Therefore, our aim is to assist clients in making healthier choices and learning how to reduce harm to themselves and those around them. Our goal is to meet people where they are at, with zero judgement.

Harm reduction supports the idea that those with addiction or substance use issues should be treated with dignity and respect and have a wide selection of treatment options in order to make an informed decision about their individual needs and what would be the most effective for them, while also reducing the harms.

Below are some resources on harm reduction strategies and resources that may help to save a life.

Signs of an overdose

  • Difficulty walking or talking
  • Blue lips or nails
  • Very small pupils
  • Cold and clammy skin
  • Inability to wake up, even when shaken or shouted at

Responding to an overdose

Recognizing an opioid overdose can be difficult. If you aren’t sure, it is best to treat the situation like an overdose. Call 911 or seek medical care for the individual. Do not leave the person alone.

Where can I learn more about harm reduction strategies?

Our client AJ was a survivor. He had a lot to be proud of, including losing 160 pounds in order to be eligible for hip replacement surgery. He was making positive steps with his addiction, well enough to secure an apartment through the Addictions Supportive Housing Program (ASH), a partnership between Fife House and LOFT’s McEwan Housing and Support Services. Click Here to learn more and honour AJ’s story as we recognize the losses we have felt this year.


Please help us honour recovery journeys like AJ’s and give hope for the future.