At Breakaway, we consider these principles to be central to our harm reduction philosophy. All our services and programs are designed with the following values in mind:
We understand that licit and illicit drug use is part of our community
We understand drug use as a complex, multi-faceted phenomenon that encompasses a continuum of behaviors and acknowledge that some ways of using drugs are safer than others.
We focus on individual and community well-being–not necessarily cessation of all drug use–as the criteria for successful interventions and policies.
We believe in a non-judgmental, non-coercive approach to service delivery with people who use drugs and communities in order to reduce harms and enhance health.
We ensure that people who use drugs and those with a history of drug use routinely have a real voice in the creation of programs and policies designed to serve them.
We affirm that people who use drugs are the primary agents of reducing the harms of drug use, and seek to empower individuals and communities to share information and support each other in strategies which meet the actual conditions of their lives.
We respect the principle of self-determination, and support the rights of individuals and communities to make decisions and choices regarding their health and wellbeing.
We recognize that the realities of colonialism, poverty, class, racism, social isolation, trauma, discrimination, housing inequality, incarceration and other social inequalities affect both people’s vulnerability to and capacity for effectively dealing with drug-related harm.
We acknowledge the harms of criminalization and the war on drugs and the disproportionate impact for marginalized groups.
We recognize and are committed to addressing the stigma and discrimination experienced by people who use drugs