Youth Harm Reduction Programs in Ontario: Summary Report

There is a need for increased harm reduction services for homeless youth: o Traditional non-harm reduction focused shelters and programs who serve youth drug users do little to reduce the incidence of drug use or associated health issues including HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis C. o Concerns about needle exchanges in youth shelters and programs include: syringes as weapons, the willingness of organizations to include harm reduction services as part of their service models, hypothesized suppositions that youth harm reduction programs could lead to increased drug use among homeless youth not currently using drugs, and concerns regarding the emergence of a “culture of drug use.”

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