Graphic of hospital building and text of Integrating Harm Reduction Strategies Into Hospital Settings For People Who Use Methamphetamine

Date:Fri Apr 23rd 2021

Start time:10:00 AM

End time: 11:00 AM

Integrating harm reduction strategies into hospital settings for people who use methamphetamine 

You are invited to attend this virtual launch event for the Methamphetamine Harm Reduction Project, being led by researchers at Parkwood Institute Research, a program of Lawson Health Research Institute. 

Friday, April 23, 2021
10 - 11 a.m. 

Register here

Evidence-based harm reduction strategies, for example needle exchange services, supervised injection sites and safe supplies, have been used in the community to reduce the risk of infection and overdose, and the risk of other harmful behaviour like crime.

Currently, harm reduction strategies for methamphetamine use are not used in Canadian hospitals. The standard of care does not allow the use of illicit substance in hospital, making implementation of harm reduction strategies challenging. A safe consumption of substances requires an exemption under Section 56.1 of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act from Health Canada.

A recent London, Ontario study found that people who use methamphethamine actually have a greater risk of infection in hospital than in the community. “This may be due to better access to harm reduction in the community compared to in hospital, and so people are using cleaner techniques,” explains Dr. Michael Silverman. 

With support from Health Canada, a new hospital-based research study led by Dr. Cheryl Forchuk seeks to find what harm reduction strategies are needed and whether these can be implemented in hospital. This study represents a groundbreaking shift for the health care system in Canada.

The views expressed herein do not necessarily represent the views of Health Canada.