Engaging law enforcement in harm reduction programs for people who inject drugs


Key take-home messages
  • Injection drug use is a major contributor to the spread of HIV and Hepatitis C in Canada.
  • Laws and policing practices that govern injection drug use influence the risk environment for people who inject drugs.
  • Street-level policing activities can hinder injection drug users’ access to sterile syringes, increase needle sharing, and increase rates of HIV and drug-related mortality.
  • Certain groups of people who inject drugs may experience unequal targeting by police — these groups include youth, people of colour and Indigenous people.
  • Engaging police and law enforcement in harm reduction programs provides an opportunity to reduce the harms associated with injecting.


The Ontario HIV Treatment Network: Rapid Response Service




  • Population(s)
    • Children or Youth (less than 18 years old)
    • People who use drugs
    • Indigenous communities
    • Ethnoracial communities
    • General HIV+ population
    • General HIV- population
  • Prevention
    • Drug use behaviours/harm reduction


Abstract/Full paper

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