Harm reduction and needle distribution sites provide harm reduction supplies, including safer injection, safer smoking and safer sex supplies, along with harm reduction education and referrals to health services, addictions services and other social supports.
What to expect
We offer safe disposal of needles and other injection supplies. Harm reduction services are offered directly through Vancouver Coastal Health at many community health centres, through contracted agencies and in partnership with other community organizations.
The goals of this program are to prevent infections, including HIV and Hepatitis C, to provide harm reduction education and support, and to connect clients to programs and services to improve health and well-being.
Harm reduction supplies
Harm reduction supplies are sterile supplies that reduce the risk of diseases like HIV and Hepatitis C for people who use drugs by injecting or smoking. Harm reduction supplies save lives, reduce infections and give the message: “We care about you, and think your health matters."
Learn more about the purpose of each item on the Toward the Heart website.
Supplies are available for free throughout the region at all VCH needle exchanges. To find all of the sites where supplies are available, use the Towards the Heart site finder.
Needle Distribution and Needle Disposal
- Don’t touch the needle with your bare hands – get the proper equipment: rubber or leather gloves, tongs or pliers, and a puncture-resistant plastic container with a lid.
- Use tongs or pliers to pick up the needle and place it in the container.
- Secure the lid on the container.
- Wash your hands and gloves.
- Return the container to any pharmacy, or community health centre.
Needle pickup for all regions
Needle distribution and pick-up in Vancouver
If you see a used needle/syringe in Vancouver, please call the hotline at (604) 657-6561 or email email@example.com. Staff will go to the area and safely collect and dispose of the needle. The needle van will also distribute harm reduction supplies to locations within Vancouver city limits.
Needle pick-up in Powell River
Within the city limits of Powell River, Powell River Fire Rescue will pick up any needles that are found – please call (604) 485-4431.
Needle pick-up in Sechelt
If a needle is found in a public space, please call the Sechelt Straight to the Point clean-up crew: (604) 619-9502.
Needle pick-up in Richmond
If a needle is found in a public space, please call the City of Richmond Public Works Department at (604) 270-8721.