Protect Lives. Prevent Overdose.

2020 FNHA IOAD Harm-Reduction-Banner-1.jpg
2020 IOAD FNHA Harm-Reduction-Banner-2.jpg


"Harm Reduction Video Shorts" YouTube Playlist:

"Using Compassion to Tackle the Stigma of Addiction" Blog Post
The blog post links to this video of Dr. Nel Wieman on how COVID-19 has affected people who use substances:


Born out of the "dual public health emergencies" of the overdose crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic, the FNHA released this "extensive, province-wide overdose prevention campaign" related to harm reduction, comparing the provincial response to both crises. Through the campaign, the FNHA argues that the response to COVID-19 has led to "unintended consequences" - exacerbating overdose deaths, especially among Indigenous peoples, due to the lockdown and "entrenched stigma" of substance use.


This campaign is a reboot of FNHA's 2018 campaign, "Taking Care of Each Other". FNHA recycled the 2018 footage into these nine video shorts, featuring "the voices of Indigenous individuals", including Kim Calder, Dede Nelson, Andrea Medley, Tracey Morrison, and Len Pierre. Each video short contains just one individual.




"Harm Reduction Video Shorts" by FNHA is licensed under CC-BY-NC.





Dr. Nel Wieman:

Here in BC, in four or five months, because of the declaration of a public health emergency related to the COVID-19 pandemic, we managed to flatten the curve and it's because COVID-19 is an infectious illness.

But when you talk about people who use substances, particularly opioids, [it's treated differently]. We have now been in a public health emergency [for overdose] for over four years and yet we haven't flattened that curve, so to speak. We're on our way up to even higher levels. So it speaks to the stigma that surrounds substance use versus an infectious illness. For those of us who work in the area of substance use, this is extremely saddening and frustrating.

Harm reduction is all about meeting people where they're at with kindness and with respect. With COVID-19 the slogan essentially became 'we're all in this together.' When it comes to people who use substances, the thinking is 'I'm glad it's you and not me'.

We need to change that with compassion. To say, we are all in this together with the opioid crisis. These are our family members, our friends. We need to fight that stigma and reduce the suffering and the losses that are related to the opioid crisis.


First Nations Health Authority, “Protect Lives. Prevent Overdose.,” Anti-Stigma Archive, accessed July 13, 2024,

Campaign Relations

This reconfiguration of Campaign: "Taking Care of Each Other": Indigenous Harm Reduction Video Series