Our Priorities

Reducing Harms

In 2016, BC declared a public health emergency in response to the mounting death toll from illicit drug overdoses. Since January 2016, over 9,000 people have lost their lives as a result of overdoses across Canada. To compound the challenge of the overdose crisis further, we’re also contending with the spread of communicable diseases like HIV and Hepatitis C associated with substance use. This is a public health crisis affecting the entire country.

This is why we have the Reducing Harms Priority. Substance use is a health issue, not a moral one. Gifts to the Reducing Harms Priority will support projects that promote harm reduction and address putting an end to the overdose epidemic.

Reducing Harms Projects

Your gift to the Reducing Harms Priority may fund a variety of projects including:

Harm Reduction Interventions

For example, safer smoking supplies so people who use drugs don’t have to use unsafe or shared supplies like lightbulbs or non-heat resistant glass tubes, which can increase the risk of hepatitis C or pneumococcal disease. Likewise, without clean and safe smoking supplies, people may turn to injecting rather than smoking substances, which has an increased risk of overdose and of contracting HIV if using unclean syringes.

Safer Supply of Drugs

Projects that identify solutions to how a safer supply of drugs is vitally important in ending the overdose epidemic. The majority of overdose deaths are the result of a contaminated supply, and a #safersupply can end the growing number of overdose deaths.

Public Education

Public education about important issues like substance use, stigma, and safer supply. Public opinion influences law, policy, institutions and systems, and creates additional harms for people who use drugs. We want to work alongside peers and activists in educating people about what a safer supply means and why substance use is a health issue, not a moral one. By changing public opinion, we have the opportunity to effect change across the country.

Peer Engagement

Peer engagement that improves harm reduction and response efforts in communities around the province. People with lived experience (peers) are active experts; they understand firsthand the challenges, opportunities, and on-the-ground realities. When we support peers, we’re supporting first-hand knowledge and problem solving, while also building capacity in communities BCCDC staff may not always have access to, such as rural/remote communities.

How you can help

With your help, we can stop deaths from unintentional drug overdoses, curb the spread of communicable diseases, and support people who use drugs in a way that affords them dignity and respect in accessing the type of care that’s right for them—whether that’s treatment, substitution therapy, or another path.

We need your help to fund the solutions that will end the overdose crisis. In partnership with the BC Centre for Disease Control we have the mandate, the experts, and the drive to find innovative solutions. We need your help to make it a reality.

Make a one-time gift to the Reducing Harms Priority, or make a one-time or monthly gift to the Driving Innovation Fund today!

Addressing Threats

We are currently developing some exciting ideas with a focus on addressing threats; stay tuned for more information soon!

Emerging Areas

The Driving Innovation Fund is our signature fund that can provide quick and flexible funding when it’s needed the most. It helps us advance the state of the art and improve not only your health, but the health of British Columbia. While our other priorities—reducing harms and addressing threats—support health solutions to critical issues we know of today, we’re growing the Driving Innovation Fund to be able to help respond to the issues we see ahead or that we’re not yet aware of – issues that could emerge tomorrow – our Emerging Areas.

All monthly donations to the BCCDC Foundation support the Driving Innovation Fund—by making a monthly donation, your gift has the potential to fund the first solution to BC’s next emerging public health issue. Whether it’s responding to an environmental health hazard, addressing a communicable disease outbreak, or preventing chronic disease through new discoveries, your gift to the Driving Innovation Fund will build the BCCDC Foundation’s capacity, and support our ability to respond quickly.

Make a one-time or monthly donation to the Driving Innovation Fund today!