Harm Reduction Services and Supports in Waterloo Region

Harm reduction includes programs and policies that aim to reduce the potential health, social, and economic effects of drug use. This can include (but does not require) stopping drug use. Harm reduction benefits people who use drugs, their families, and the community. 

Needle Syringe Programs

One important part of harm reduction is providing access to clean drug use equipment such as hypodermic needles. Injecting drugs, including steroids, involves risk. Sharing needles and other drug equipment puts you at risk of getting an infection through your blood. Harm reduction strategies and services help prevent the spread of infections including HIV, Hepatitis C and Hepatitis B.

Through the Needle Syringe Program, people who use drugs can receive sterile needles and other harm reduction equipment.  Disposal containers are also available to support the safe disposal of used equipment. Needle syringe programs may also provide referrals to other health services such as immunization, testing and health counselling.

Where Can I Access a Needle Syringe Program?

Needle syringe programs are provided in various agencies throughout Cambridge, Kitchener and Waterloo. To find the needle syringe program closest to you, please visit the Region of Waterloo Public Health website.

Safe Needle Disposal

There are many options for safe needle disposal in Waterloo Region. Used substance use equipment can be returned to any Needle Syringe Program at Region of Waterloo Public Health. There are also five outdoor sharps disposal kiosks located across Waterloo Region that are available anytime:



  • Region of Waterloo Public Health,  99 Regina Street (to the right of the main entrance)
  • Corner of Laurel and Peppler Streets (on the Iron Horse Trail)



  • John Howard Society, 310 Charles Street East (back entrance)



  • Region of Waterloo Public Health, 150 Main Street (to the left of the back entrance)
  • Simcoe House, 159 Ainslie Street (parking lot)


If you find a discarded needle, the following Region of Waterloo Public Health resources can help:

I found a needle. Now what? 

Be Safe with Sharps Poster

I found a Needle Poster (child version). Children may not understand the dangers of discarded needles. This poster can help start the conversation.





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