Harm Reduction and Learning in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside
Authors: Betsy Alkenbrack
Collection: Research Materials
This report presents the findings of a research project conducted over a two-year period by Capilano College instructors as part of their work with adults with “high-risk” lifestyles (including drug use, working in the sex trade, living with violent partners and being street-involved) at two learning centres in Vancouver’s downtown east side. The instructors who manage and teach in these centres wanted to learn more about the "Harm Reduction" approach for treating drug and alcohol addiction and how they could use it to improve teaching and learning at the centres. The philosophy behind this approach is that any change in a program participant’s lifestyle must happen on their own terms, at their speed, following a path that works for them.
This report is divided into three parts:
1. Literature review on "Harm Reduction" and lessons for literacy work
2. Research on "Harm Reduction" and lessons for literacy work in Vancouver's downtown east side
3. Conclusions and recommendations