Thank you for your interest in being involved with the Waterloo Region Integrated Drugs Strategy (WRIDS). Here is some information about the WRIDS to help orientate you to the work we do and how we do it.


The WRIDS is a collaborative of over 130 individuals from agencies, organizations and from the community working to prevent, reduce or eliminate the harms associated with problematic substance use. Our vision is a safer and healthier Waterloo Region.

As a collaborative we believe in this set of principles:

Social Justice – All actions of the strategy will be free from stigmatization and discrimination of individuals who use substances or are affected by substance use.

Determinants of Health – The strategy recognizes and will address the range of personal, social, economic and environmental factors that influence the health of individuals and our community, including early childhood development, education, employment, income and housing and social supports.

Collaborative – A collaborative approach is needed to address issues related to substance use in Waterloo Region. The Strategy will encourage intersectoral collaboration and foster partnerships between citizens, community groups, services providers and all orders of government.

Participatory – Our work employs a participatory approach, involving people with lived experience in a meaningful way in all aspects of implementation of the strategy.

How we work

The WRIDS is a policy-driven collaborative. We advocate for system development regarding system gaps, needs and future directions.

The WRIDS consists of a Steering Committee and four coordinating committees which align with the four pillars of Prevention, Harm Reduction, Recovery and Rehabilitation and Enforcement and Justice. In addition, there are a number of work groups that operate under the coordinating committees which work on projects and initiatives in the community.

Get involved

There are multiple ways to be involved with the WRIDS. Some of these opportunities exist with our partners because we do not provide direct service to individuals in our community.

Volunteer Opportunities with Organizations addressing Substance Use

  • Sanguen Health Centre: Harm Reduction Kit-Making. Call 519-603-0223 for more information.

What else can help to address issues of substance use in Waterloo Region?

  • Contact your local MP or MPP to talk about the importance of policies and programs that align with the four pillars approach
  • Speak to your local politicians about policies and programs that align with the four pillars approach
  • Organize a donation drive aimed at supporting people struggling with addiction
    • Organize a food/clothing drive
    • Organize a group of friends to hold a knitting party. Many organizations doing addiction or harm reduction work could always use socks, mittens and scarves
    • Create personal hygiene kits
  • If volunteering with an agency providing addiction treatment services or harm reduction supports in Waterloo Region interests you, please contact the Volunteer Action Centre (519-742-8610 or
  • If working on policy and systems level issues interests you, please contact the coordinator for the Waterloo Region Integrated Drugs Strategy at
  • Attend a community awareness event that interests you to learn more about issues affecting our community
  • Visit our website for news and updates or follow us on twitter @DrugStrategyWR.

Contact Us