The primary goal of most harm-reduction approaches is to meet individuals where they are at and not ignore or condemn the harmful behaviours, but rather to work with the individual or community to minimize the harmful effects of a given behaviour. Canadian policy on substance use has been moving in the wrong direction since its 2007 National Anti-Drug strategy, which excluded harm reduction. Harm reduction is an important public health initiative needed to promote the health and well-being of marginalized substance users, such as youth experiencing homelessness.
Gaetz, S., O’Grady, B., Buccieri, K., Karabanow, J., & Marsolais, A. (Eds.), Youth Homelessness in Canada: Implications for Policy and Practice. Toronto: Canadian Homelessness Research Network Press.