Harm reduction is an approach or strategy aimed at reducing the risks and harmful effects associated with substance use and addictive behaviours for the individual, community and society as a whole. It is recognized as a realistic, pragmatic, humane and successful approach to addressing substance use issues. Lookout’s harm reduction practices extend beyond safer drug use and include safety planning with women who are involved in survival sex work, as well as providing blankets and other safety supplies to people who choose to sleep outdoors. Lookout’s harm reduction philosophy is fully integrated in every aspect of our continuum of services and builds on the desire to meet guests “where they are at”.
Lookout’s harm reduction philosophy is fully integrated in every aspect of our continuum of services and builds on the desire to meet guests “where they are at.” The Powell Street Getaway in Vancouver, Surrey’s SafePoint and the Harbour Centre in Victoria have been approved by Health Canada to deliver supervised consumption services. Additionally, Lookout operates a number of overdose prevention sites including the Duncan Wellness and Recovery Center and Mobile Health Contact Center in Abbotsford. Lookout’s harm reduction practices help prevent overdose deaths while engaging those who are vulnerable in other health care services, including mental health treatment and withdrawal management. In response to the opioid crisis, Lookout has increased access to harm reduction supplies and education, introduced peer-led substance use programs, and trained all staff in Naloxone reversals. These services have been implemented with support from Vancouver Coastal Health, Fraser Health and Island Health.