4 Pillars

of Drug


The opioid crisis is a complex issue- addressing it requires a comprehensive strategy.  The 4 pillar drug strategy is an evidence- based approach that is recognized at a municipal, provincial and federal level. 

Learn more about the

4 Pillar Strategy:


Aims to prevent harmful drug use.  Common goals include:

  • Reduce individual, family, neighbourhood and community harm from substance use

  • Delay onset of first substance use

  • Reduce incidence (rate of new cases over a period of time) and prevalence (number of current cases at one time in a population) of problematic substance use and substance dependence

  • Improve public health, safety and order


Includes a range of interventions and support programs that encourage people with addiction problems to make healthier decisions about their lives.

  • Treatment is a continuum of care, and services can vary in duration and intensity

  • Programs can range from abstinence-based programs to managed use programs, depending on individual goals

  • Aims to increase cooperation between the criminal justice system and social services sector (e.g. Drug Treatment Courts)



Recognizes the need for peace, public order and safety; addresses the crime and social disorder related to drug use through: 

  • Increased coordination between police, justice and social/health services to address drug related crime

  • Programs that divert people from the justice system to appropriate health supports

  • Supporting individuals whose addiction has resulted in criminal activities to find options that can lead to recovery

  • Addressing illegal drug production, supply and distribution



Aims to reduce the harms of drug use to the individual and the community through: 

  • A focus on the physical, emotional and relational harms caused by problematic substance use, rather than substance use itself

  • An approach to drug use that mitigates harm while understanding that total abstinence my not be an option for everyone

  • Establishing a hierarchy of achievable goals which, when taken step by step, can lead to a healthier life for drug users and a healthier community for everyone

Supervised Consumption Services are a harm reduction approach aimed at reducing overdose deaths and improving community health and safety.  To learn more, click here.

Supervised Consumption Services (SCS) are one piece of a larger picture.....SCS is one service along a continuum of care for people who use drugs. 

Want to know more?

Click on the arrows below for access to information

about 4 pillar drug strategies and harm reduction.


T: 403-346-8858

F: 403-346-2352

E: scsc@turningpoint-ca.org

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