Harm Reduction and Needle Syringe Program 

Harm Reduction refers to the interventions, including programs and policies, that aim to reduce the potentially adverse health, social and economic consequences of problematic substance use, and can include (but does not require) abstinence from substances. (Waterloo Region Integrated Drugs Strategy 2011). This strategy can be accessed at Waterloo Region Crime Prevention Council website.

Harm Reduction benefits people who use drugs, their families and the community. (International Harm Reduction Association, 2010). The Region of Waterloo Public Health is mandated by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care to provide harm reduction strategies/services.

These strategies/services are a necessary public health program that are in place to prevent the spread of blood-borne infections including HIV, Hepatitis C and Hepatitis B.

Injecting drugs, including steroids, is always risky. Sharing needles and other drug equipment puts you at risk of contracting blood-borne infections. Needle Syringe Services are provided at several locations in Waterloo Region on a confidential and non-judgmental basis.

NOTE: Check the Sanguen Mobile Van Outreach that brings necessary services to anyone who requires them.

Services offered at Region of Waterloo Public Health

Services offered at Region of Waterloo Public Health include the following:

Needle Syringe services which include provision of clean and sterile drug-using equipment including new needles, sterile water, alcohol swabs, cookers, filters, vitamin C and tourniquets. Also included are various sizes of sharps containers. Public Health will also take back used syringes and containers.

  • Naloxone Dispensing Program for individuals at risk for opioid overdose
  • Client-centered counselling
  • Providing skill-building and education sessions
  • Referrals to treatment, health services and other social services
  • Immunization including Hepatitis B, Hepatitis A, pneumococcal and seasonal influenza
  • Education on assessing skin infections or abscesses
  • Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) testing and HIV testing
  • Condom distribution

Naloxone Training

Naloxone is available to individuals at risk for opioid overdose. Naloxone is a prescription medication that can be used in the event of an opiate overdose. 

If you are at risk for overdose and would like to receive a Naloxone Kit, please call Region of Waterloo Public Health at 519-575-4400.

Both Public Health locations (99 Regina Street South, Waterloo, and 150 Main Street, Cambridge) offer drop-in hours Fridays 1 - 3:30 pm.

Information on overdose prevention can be accessed at the Waterloo Region Crime Prevention Council website and at Preventing Overdose Waterloo Wellington

Overdose videos

Overdose videos can be accessed on the Municipal Drug Strategy Network in Ontario website.

Information on HIV and Hepatitis C

Information on HIV and Hepatitis C can be accessed on the CATIE website.

Infection prevention videos

Safer Injection Demo

Safer Crack-Smoking Demo

Safe needle disposal and infection prevention

Needle Disposal

Found a Needle - What To Do - Poster for Adults

Found a Needle - What To Do - Poster for Children 

Safe Disposal

REMEMBER: Do not throw loose needles and other sharps into the trash. Place needles in tamper resistant sharps containers or a puncture proof container. More information can be found on the Waste Management website: WasteWiz

Other locations where used needles can be dropped off are the Needle Syringes locations listed below.

Needle syringe locations

(click the address links to open a Google Map of the location)



ACCKWA at St. John's Soup Kitchen
2nd Floor, 97 Victoria Street North


Monday to Friday 10 am - 1 pm

The Bridges
26 Simcoe Street
(across from Shopper's Drug Mart)


Services offered daily

Bridges does not offer Safer Inhalation Kits

ACCKWA - Safepoint Needle Exchange Program

2nd Floor 639 King St. W, Unit 203

Monday 10 am - 1 pm

Tuesday/Wednesday 10 am - 6 pm

Thursday 10 am - 7 pm

Friday 9 am - 5 pm


ACCKWA Satellite Office
2nd Floor, 54 Ainslie Street South
(c/o Cambridge Self-Help Food Bank) 

519-622-6550 ext 117

12:30 - 4:30 pm

Street Outreach

200 King Street West

Summer services only

Friday 3 - 6 pm

Saturday 4 - 6 pm


Needle syringe locations at Public Health

(click the address links to open a Google Map of the location)

NOTE: December 29th the hours will be 8:30 am - 4 pm



Region of Waterloo Public Health
2nd Floor, 99 Regina St. South


Region of Waterloo Public Health
1st Floor, 150 Main Street


Monday, Wednesday, Friday
8:30 am - 4 pm

Tuesday and Thursday
8:30 am - 7 pm

Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday
8:30 am - 12 pm and 1 pm - 4 pm

Tuesday 9:30 am - 12 pm