Harm Reduction

The Works:

Toronto Public Health's Harm Reduction Program for people who use drugs

Toronto Public Health (TPH) provides programs and services to reduce drug related harms for people who use drugs including preventing the spread of communicable diseases.

The Works opened its doors on August 9, 1989. During the last 25 years, The Works has played an integral role in reducing drug use related harms in Toronto by taking leadership in the area of harm reduction. This is a time of celebration of the success of The Works, recognizing the contribution of current and former staff.

Services Provided by The Works

ExpandHarm Reduction Supplies and Counselling

Harm Reduction Supplies and Counselling

The Works in partnership with community agencies provides counselling and distribution of free harm reduction supplies.

    • safer injection equipment: needles and syringes in various sizes and brands, sterile water, alcohol swabs, tourniquets, filters, acidifiers, and cookers
    • safer smoking equipment: Pyrex stems, brass screens, chop sticks, and mouthpieces
    • safer sex products: condoms and lube

ExpandMethadone Works - Opioid Substitution Clinic

Methadone Works - Opioid Substitution Clinic

We offer a harm reduction based opioid substitution program that includes methadone and suboxone. Services offered include: counselling, support, and referrals to housing and other community services. This is a self-directed, client-centred program that does not require abstinence. No take-home doses.

ExpandNaloxone Kits and Overdose Response Training (>POINT program)

Naloxone Kits and Overdose Response Training (>POINT program)

The POINT program provides training to opioid users, their friends and family in preventing, recognizing and responding to an overdose. Program participants are trained on how to administer naloxone.  Opioid users, their friends, and family are provided with a take-home naloxone kit that contains naloxone and instructions on how to use it.

To schedule a training for clients at your agency, see our Overdose Training & Resources page.

ExpandTesting and Vaccination

The Works provides testing for: HIV (anonymous and Rapid testing available), Hepatitis C, Hepatitis B, Gonorrhea, Chlamydia and Syphilis. We offer free vaccines for Hepatitis A and B, Tetanus, Diphtheria, Pertussis, Pneumococcal and Influenza.

ExpandMobile Outreach

The Works Van is on the road Monday to Saturday from 6:30pm – 11:30pm. Services include: distributing harm reduction supplies & counselling. POINT training, testing and vaccinations are also available.

ExpandSupervised Injection Services

On July 12, 2016, Toronto City Council adopted the Board of Health's recommendation to implement 3 supervised injection services co-located at Toronto Public Health's The Works, Queen West Central Toronto Community Health Centre and South Riverdale Community Health Centre.

On June 2, 2017, The Works received approval of their exemption application to Section 56 of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA) by Health Canada. The Works has also received a commitment of funding from the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care to operate supervised injection services. The service at The Works will have 5 injection booths and will operate 7 days a week, 12 hours per day.

Renovations to the existing Works space are required to operate the supervised injection service. Therefore, on July 17, 2017, The Works moved to a temporary location on the 1st floor at 277 Victoria Street. All Works services will continue to be offered during the renovations. We anticipate opening the supervised injection service at The Works by late fall.

For more information on Supervised Injection Services, see Frequently Asked Questions

ExpandSupport for Community Agencies

In order to increase harm reduction access in Toronto, The Works provides safer drug use supplies, education and program support to many community agencies across the city. Becoming a community partner is a process that requires a legally binding service agreement, adequate insurance and an on-going, genuine commitment to the harm reduction model. Please see Become a Partner Agency for details.