Skip to content

Harm Reduction Supplies

OHRDP coordinates the distribution of harm reduction supplies to Needle Syringe Programs through a licensed distributor, providing sterile, single-use equipment to help prevent disease transmission and reduce the potential health risks associated with drug use. To order supplies from OHRDP, you must be from a Needle Syringe Program directly reporting to, or contracted by, a Public Health Unit in Ontario. The supplies provided through OHRDP complement the needles and syringes provided through Public Health.

For detailed information on how to use supplies, view:

Alcohol Swabs

The sterile alcohol swabs provided through OHRDP are non-woven fabric, individually wrapped in sterile, water-resistant packages, and are intended for single-use only. Active ingredients include 70% isopropyl alcohol. Alcohol swabs are used to clean the skin around the injection site before using.

Best Practices:

Alcohol swabs are used to clean the injection site before injecting. After injecting, use the dry swab found in the cooker package, never an alcohol swab.

Castile Soap Wipes

The castile soap wipes provided through OHRDP are individually wrapped in sterile, water-resistant packages. They are used for cleaning hands when soap and water are not available.

Best Practices:

Use a Castile soap wipe for cleaning hands when soap and water are not available. Always clean hands before handling harm reduction supplies with soap and water, a cleansing wipe, or alcohol swab.

Sterile Filters

The filters provided through OHRDP are sterile, dense pellets in blister packs of 5 filters (Steri5) or included with individually packaged cookers (Stericup or One-Use Cooker). Both filters have a pore width of 5-10┬Ám. The Steri5 filter measures 6mm x 6mm and the One-Use filter measures 6mm x 8mm. A filter is placed in the cooker once the drug solution has been heated and allowed to cool. The solution is drawn through the filter into the syringe in order to trap small particles and prevent them from being injected. Filters are effective to filter particles from the solution but not for the removal of bacteria or viruses.

Best Practices:

A new sterile filter is needed for every injection. It reduces transmission of blood borne pathogens and removes particles that should not be injected.

Sterile Water

Sterile water provided through OHRDP is inhalation grade water for injection use. It comes in single-use 3ml plastic ampoules to be used to prepare drugs for injection. It is sterile, non-pyrogenic, preservative free, and contains no bacteriostatic agent. Sterile water is mixed with powder or solid forms of drugs then heated in a cooker in order to convert the drugs into an injectable solution.

Best Practices:

Sterile water is needed to dissolve drugs from solid form. A new sterile water ampoule is needed for every injection to prevent transmission of blood borne pathogens and bacterial infection.

Tourniquets

OHRDP provides thin, pliable, latex-free, non-porous, quick-release tourniquets. These single-person tourniquets are less likely to cause trauma to the veins than other commonly used ties such as belts, bandanas, condoms, wire, rope, or shoelaces. Made of thermoplastic elastomer, these tourniquets have the ability to stretch as required and return to their original length (18 inches long) upon removal. This material has thermal properties which allow it to withstand a broad range of temperatures.

Best Practices:

When it is difficult to find a vein, use a proper tourniquet. It is important to learn how to use a tourniquet safely.

Ascorbic Acid

Ascorbic Acid is individually packaged in 100mg sachets which are air-tight and water-resistant. It is important to verify the expiry date prior to using the single-use Vitamin C sachets in order to ensure effectiveness. Vit C is used to convert insoluble drugs like brown heroin/crack cocaine into a water-soluble solution. The smallest amount of acidifier should be used (a pinch) as too much can cause harm to your veins.

Best Practices:

If an acidifier is needed to dissolve drugs, use the smallest amount possible to reduce risk of vein damage. Only use pharmacy grade vitamin C.

Sterile Cookers

There are three types of cookers provided through OHRDP: One-Use Spoon, Stericup, and Maxicup. The One-Use Spoon is made of stainless steel, while the Stericup and Maxicup are made of aluminum. These materials allow the cooker to be heated to a boil quickly. All three cookers are packaged with a sterile filter and post-injection dry swab. All cookers provided through OHRDP are sterile and a safer containers to mix drugs in than kitchen spoons, cans, or bottle caps.

Best Practices:

Sterile cookers are used to prepare drugs for injection. Using a new cooker every time will reduce transmission of HIV, hepatitis C, bacterial and other infections.

Attached Needles

The attached needles provided through OHRDP have 1 cc barrels and are available in a range of gauges and tip lengths.

Best Practices:

Providing syringes with permanently attached needles promotes single-use practices, reducing the transmission of infections and vein damage.

Syringe Barrels

The syringe barrels provided through OHRDP use a luer lock system to attach to the desired needle tip. They are available in 1cc and 3cc volumes to accommodate different substances being used.

Best Practices:

Use a new needle and syringe for every injection. It reduces transmission of blood borne pathogens and reduces vein damage.

Needles Tips

The needle tips provided through OHRDP come in a variety of lengths and gauges to accommodate different injection sites and individual needs. All needle tips are individually packaged, sterile, and intended for single use only.

Best Practices:

Use a new needle and syringe for every injection. It reduces transmission of blood borne pathogens and reduces vein damage.

Straight Stems

Straight stems are made from low expansion borosilicate glass (Pyrex) which is resistant to high temperatures. The straight stems distributed through OHRDP are intended for vaping / smoking. They are 100mm long and have an 11mm diameter.

Best Practices:

A straight stem is used for smoking crack cocaine. Always use brass screens and a mouthpiece with the straight stem to prevent cuts, burns and reduce the transmission risks of HIV and hepatitis C.

Push Sticks

Push Sticks provided through OHRDP are birch wood dowels that are 7 inches long and 1/4 inch in diameter. Push sticks are used to pack and position screens inside the straight stem and can be used to recover the resin that accumulates in the pipe.

Best Practices:

A wooden push stick is used to bend or position brass screens in a straight stem. Never use makeshift sticks that could chip or crack the glass stem.

Brass Screens

Screens provided through OHRDP are made of thin, porous, brass metal sheets. They are high heat resistant, pliable, and have no chemical coating. They allow for inhalation of drug vapour. Five screens are provided in each individual envelope.

Best Practices:

Brass screens are used in a straight stem. When positioned properly they can prevent burns to the mouth and throat. Brass screens are non-toxic and less likely to break apart when heated.

Bowl Pipes

The bowl pipes provided through OHRDP are made of low expansion borosilicate glass (Pyrex). The diameter of the bowl is 25mm, with a 7mm hole on top. The diameter of the stem is 10mm, slightly smaller than straight stem pipes, and therefore requires a smaller tubing for mouthpieces. The bowl pipes distributed through OHRDP are used primarily for smoking crystal meth.

Best Practices:

Bowl pipes are used for smoking crystal meth. Always use a mouthpiece to prevent cuts, burns and reduce the spread of HIV, HCV and other harms.

Mouthpieces

The mouthpieces distributed through OHRDP are composed of latex free, food-grade vinyl. OHRDP provides two sizes of tubing: one to fit the straight stem and one to fit the bowl pipe. Tubing is available in 100-foot rolls, or pre-cut to a length of 4cm (1.5 inches). Programs choosing to order in 100-foot rolls have the option of cutting the tubing to different lengths for service users. Tube-cutters are available through OHRDP upon request.

Best Practices:

Mouthpieces reduce the risk of burns, cuts and protect lips from chipped or cracked stems. Always use your own mouthpiece for safety.

Foil

The Foil distributed through OHRDP is made specifically for smoking/vaping. This product is a strong 20 gauge foil which means it is thicker than general household foil. It comes in a package of 24 individual sheets, with each sheet measuring 10cm x 22cm. This foil is not coated with oil and is not texturized. Foil is used as a heating surface for drugs that will be vaped or inhaled.

Best Practices:

Foil is used to smoke/vape drugs. This foil is made specifically for smoking drugs; it is thicker than store bought foil and has no oil coating.

Straws

The 3.5 inch straws provided through OHRDP are biodegradable and are intended for single-use only. These straws come in four colours: yellow, blue, orange, and green. They can be used for snorting or for inhaling vapor.

Best Practices:

Straws are used for snorting or inhaling. They can reduce harm such as scratches or tears associated with snorting drugs. Straws should never be shared.