Home > News Room > Advisories > 2011 > Nurses release paper on harm reduction and illegal drugs – Advisory

Nurses release paper on harm reduction and illegal drugs – Advisory

Ottawa, May 12, 2011 – The Canadian Nurses Association is releasing today a discussion paper entitled Harm Reduction and Currently Illegal Drugs: Implications for Nursing Policy, Practice, Education and Research. The paper focuses on harm reduction strategies aimed at reducing health and social harms associated with illegal drug use. It presents current perspectives and evidence on harm reduction policy and practice, and identifies implications for nursing policy, practice, research and education. This will be a valuable resource for registered nurses (RN) who care for people experiencing the impacts of substance use.


Canadian Nurses Association


May 12, 2011


Harm reduction” has been identified as a public health response to reduce the negative consequences associated with risky behaviours, including substance use. A great deal of evidence supports the public health and safety benefits of harm reduction strategies.




Providing nursing care in the context of substance use, particularly illegal substance use, can raise questions and issues for RNs who may be caught between evidence, ethics and policy. This paper comes at an opportune time, as CNA, along with the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario and the Association of Registered Nurses of British Columbia, will today be presenting arguments before the Supreme Court of Canada in support of Insite, a supervised injection facility in Vancouver.

CNA is the national professional voice of registered nurses in Canada. A federation of 11 provincial and territorial nursing associations and colleges representing 143,843 registered nurses, CNA advances the practice and profession of nursing to improve health outcomes and strengthen Canada's publicly funded, not-for-profit health system.


For more information, please contact:

Lisa Brazeau Director,
Communications and Member Outreach
Canadian Nurses Association
Cell: 613-864-1371
Tel: 613-237-2133, ext. 252
E-mail: lbrazeau@cna-aiic.ca