Stigma and discrimination present a major barrier for people who use drugs to access the services they needed.

The following strategies will help you identify what you and your organization can do to reduce drug-related stigma and discrimination.

What You Can Do

Explore your own values and beliefs about substance use and how they may impact how you work with people who consume alcohol/other drugs:

  • Focus on building respectful and trusting relationships with clients.
  • Use neutral, non-judgemental language.
  • Advocate on behalf of clients to ensure they get the services and resources that they are entitled to.
  • Challenge drug-related stigma and discrimination when you see it.
  • Advocate for systemic change – health, housing, employment sectors, etc.
  • Participate in networks advocating for evidence-based drug policy.

What Your Organization Can Do

Ensure your organization complies with provincial policy and legislation that protects people from discrimination and requires a “duty to accommodate.”

Read more: The Stigma, Discrimination and Substance Use report details the experiences of people who use alcohol and other drugs in Toronto.