COVID-19 resources: harm reduction

Please Read: As information on prevention, policy, and programs is rapidly evolving, these resources generally direct users to frequently updated sites, rather than single pages that can go quickly out of date. We provide evidence-based resources and encourage members to dig deeper as their mission/work requires. We are grateful to everyone as they do their best through this crisis and wish all well as we work within this extraordinary time.

Harm reduction for substance use and sexual health, including sex work


Substance Use

Accessing a safe supply: This information from BC and Yukon Association of Drug War Survivors offers maps for services and drug user groups; safe supply resources; information for pharmacists and prescribers, and more.

Drug User Liberation Front
Information on community led compassion clubs, decriminalization, and more.

Getting a Safe Supply of Drugs: The Clinical Guidance Risk Mitigation in the Context of Dual Public Health Emergencies from the BC Centre on Substance Use “aims to support individuals who may be at increased risk of overdose, withdrawal, craving, and other harms related to their substance use. As the effects of the [COVID-19] pandemic continue, the drug supply may become significantly more adulterated and toxic, based on limited importation and availability, and illicit substances may become significantly more difficult to procure.”

COVID-19 Guidance documents on service needs of people who use drugs:  At the request of the Government of Canada, the Canadian Research Initiative on Substance Misuse (CRISM) is rapidly developing a series of six national guidance documents. Collectively, the six documents address urgent needs of people who use substances, service providers, and decision makers in relation to the COVID‑19 pandemic. The guidance provided in these document is subject to change as new information becomes available and the landscape of the pandemic and public health responses evolve over time.

Health Canada toolkit: COVID-19 and substance use. This toolkit provides information to support health care providers to understand their options in providing care for their patients who use drugs during the pandemic and to help people who use drugs learn about services they may be able to access through a health care provider.

View on-demand: Supporting Harm Reduction in COVID 19 Shelter and Self Isolation – April 2, 2020.  Dr. Christy Sutherland, Medical Director of the Portland Hotel Society, presents strategies for supporting people who use drugs (including those who don’t have a doctor) when they are in self-isolation or social distancing, discuss prescribing practices and how to help people stay away from the illicit drug market.

COVID-19, Substance Use, and Safer Supply: On-demand webinar series from BC Centre on Substance Use

BC Centre on Substance Use COVID-19 resource section, including Substance Use and COVID-19

Impacts of COVID-19 on Substance Use

Vaping, Smoking and COVID-19: COVID-19 spreads by droplets, including saliva, so it will spread by sharing cigarettes, joints, pipes (including pipes in pipe ceremonies), waterpipes, and vaping devices contaminated by the virus. Do not share your smoking, pipes or vaping materials.

Harm reduction resources from the Canadian Drug Policy Coalition that provide information for people who use substances and service providers. Includes safer drug use, sex work, prescription guidelines, public health practices, and more.

Safer drinking guide in light of COVID-19 from the University of Victoria.

Intimate partner violence, substance use, and COVID-19
During COVID-19 and its aftermath it is important to consider the impacts of the pandemic and social and physical isolation on women’s health. This sheet explores adaptations to practice for service organizations and frontline workers, to respond to concerning trends in intimate partner violence (IPV) and substance use in the COVID-19 context.



Sexual Health including Sex Work

Safer Sex Guidelines for men who have sex with men, from Health Initiative for Men

This on-demand webinar from CATIE features leading voices in sexual health who speak to how their organizations are meeting the needs of people looking for guidance on sex and sex work in the time of COVID-19 — both online and in person.

Sex work and COVID-19: Guidelines for sex workers, clients third parties, and allies
Butterfly Asian and Migrant Sex Workers Support Network / Maggie’s Toronto Sex Workers Action Project, via CATIE.

Sex and COVID-19, from CATIE. These resources include information on maintaining your sex life while reducing risk of COVID transmission; how COVID is transmitted, preventing HIV and other STIs.

See all COVID-19 resource pages


PAN updates to members


COVID-19 Prevention and vaccine updates

HIV and Hepatitis C




Harm Reduction: substances and sex



Indigenous Communities and Cultural Safety


Prison Populations


Mental Health



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Funding sustainability for non-profits


Workplace Adaptation


COVID-19 Home

Reviewed/updated April 2021