Harm Reduction Program
Substance use is a widespread issue in Toronto’s African, Caribbean and Black (ACB) communities. Adults and youth in our community are engaged in high-risk activities that also place them at risk for HIV and STIs. Many are seeking support and information to reduce their risk behaviours. In addition, the stigma surrounding substance use in our community creates a barrier to accessing information and services related to safer substance use.
Black CAP’s Harm Reduction Program is based on harm reduction practices meant to reduce harms associated with Substance use. Our harm reduction model is committed to meeting the unique needs of ACB community members “where they are at” to reduce the risk of HIV and STI infections, communicable diseases (i.e. HEP C), criminalization, overdose, and violence.
The objectives of this program are:
- To increase knowledge and awareness of the harms associated with substance use in Toronto’s ACB communities
- To increase access to resources such as injection and inhalation equipment and to increase knowledge to ensure their safe use
- To increase the capacity of organizations to effectively respond to substance use in ACB communities
Black CAP’s Harm Reduction Program:
- Delivers adult and youth harm reduction workshops on substance use and abuse related issues, the criminal justice system, mixing drug dealing with substance use, and abuse and dependence
- Holds a bi-monthly Harm Reduction Drop-in for ACB substance users to share their thoughts and ideas in discussions on topics that affect our community such as racism, oppression and the excessive use of force by police
- Partners with Toronto Public Health and other stakeholders to deliver special events such as Snowfest and Sunfest, during this event we distribute hundreds of beverages and food items to those members of our community members who are street involved, marginalized and who also may be homeless. We also use this opportunity to conduct surveys within ACB substance using community in order to understand how to serve our community better.
- Works with agencies to build Harm Reduction Policies and train staff teams on Harm Reduction.
- Acts as a distribution site to Toronto Public Health for the distribution of Safer Inhalation and Injection equipment kits and other resources through weekly outreach in a number of neighbourhoods (downtown, Scarborough, Rexdale, etc.)
To request a workshop, one-on-one session or to invite us to do outreach at your event please click here.
Community members are always welcome to join the Harm Reduction Team. The program relies heavily on the support of volunteers to conduct outreach and education. Harm reduction or HIV knowledge is not a requirement and training is provided for all volunteers.
Our Harm Reduction Community Outreach Programs are funded by Toronto Public Health (TUHF), Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (AIDS Bureau), Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC).
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