2018 Presentations

keynote address

Why Harm Reduction? Why Now?

Zoë Dodd will share her experiences and learning from being on the frontlines as a community worker and dealing with the opioid overdose crisis in Toronto leading up to the creation of the Moss Park Overdose Prevention Site. This keynote address will discuss the urgency and significance of local, community-based harm reduction programs as Ontario continues to address the opioid overdose crisis.


zoë dodd

mid-morning presentation

Opioids: Setting Things Straight

This presentation will enable participants to become more informed about the range of opioid drugs, including substitute therapies and gain greater insight into the negative impacts of substance use stigma and misunderstanding on access to effective supports and treatment options. Participants will have an opportunity to discuss why the opioid overdose crisis continues to escalate and how to keep things in check. The presentation will also look at building a collaborative community response through inter-agency/program partnerships as an effective way of advancing community based harm reduction.


nick boyce

afternoon plenary session

PANEL DISCUSSION: Peer Work in Harm Reduction

The successful implementation of Harm Reduction principles relies heavily on the expertise of those who use substances. Peer work within this context allows for meaningful engagement of the most marginalized members of society. This important and timely panel discussion will convene some of the field’s most enthusiastic and dedicated peer workers from Peel, York and Simcoe, who will share their unique perspectives on the critical role peer workers play in the application of harm reduction strategies.


Richard Audit, Ivy Beaton, Dylan De la Riviere


concurrent Afternoon breakout sessions

Workshop 1

training on overdose prevention

This workshop is designed to create awareness of and increase participants’ knowledge about overdose prevention. The workshop will discuss what an overdose is, how substances affect the body, risk factors and harm reduction tips, signs and symptoms, and how to respond to an overdose.


adam chalcraft

Workshop 2

Caring for Sex Workers: A Harm Reduction Perspective

The harms associated with sex work stem not from the work itself but from external factors such as stigma, social isolation, and a lack of access to health supports. A harm reduction approach to working with those currently working in the sex industry is essential in building trust and engaging with this often hidden and difficult to reach population. This workshop will explore the results and recommendations both from Peel HIV/AIDS Network’s recent Know More: Sex Work Needs Assessment and from evidence based, peer-led programming being implemented at Toronto’s Sistering – A Women’s Place. 


betty williams

& sistering peer workers

workshop 3

Overdose prevention & Supervised Consumption sites: An overview of Regional Planning & Goals

This presentation will provide an overview of the Harm Reduction pillar goals of the Simcoe Muskoka Opioid Strategy. The workshop will particularly focus on Overdose Prevention Sites (OPS) and Supervised Consumption Sites (SCS). This will encompass identifying need for sites, application process, and the regional experience. This presentation will provide a comparison of both sites and the research supporting them.