Turning Point provides a selection of harm reduction tools that when safely used will prevent the transmission of HIV, Hepatitis C and other Blood Bourne Pathogens.

What is harm reduction?

Harm reduction is often the first step in one’s positive health journey and refers to policies, programs, and practices that aim to minimize negative health, social, and legal impacts associated with drug use, drug policies and drug laws. Harm reduction approaches are grounded in justice and human rights, focusing on positive change and on working with people without judgement, coercion, discrimination, or requiring that they stop using drugs as a precondition of support (Harm Reduction International, 2020).

The goal of harm reduction is to improve health outcomes while supporting individuals where they are at today, recognizing that drug abstinence may never be a viable option.

Turning Point
& Harm Reduction

Turning Point Society adheres to the best practice recommendations for Canadian Harm Reduction Programs by offering a range of resources and supplies to help mitigate potential impacts of high-risk behaviour. Some of the items people can access from our Harm Reduction staff include safer sex, drug use, and piercing supplies. Our Harm Reduction program also supports the Red Deer community through education and activism, as well as greater access to safe sharps disposal.

Accessing harm reduction supports

Anyone within Central Alberta is free to access our harm reduction resources and supplies at zero cost. All we’ll ask is your first and last name as well as your date of birth. Safe drug paraphernalia and other critical supports can be accessed by connecting with Harm Reduction staff at our office during regular business hours. They can also be accessed by connecting with staff in our NightReach and Rural Outreach programs.

Needle disposal

In addition to the distribution of essential harm reduction tools and resources, our Harm Reduction program offers and maintains a variety of community-wide needle disposal opportunities so that people who use needles can access safe disposal and that stray needles and needle debris in the community are dealt with promptly and safely.

Needle & sharps disposal options in Red Deer

In order to reduce debris and possible injury as a result of improper sharps and debris disposal, Turning Point Society strategically places and maintains several tree-mounted sharps containers in high traffic areas throughout the city of Red Deer – primarily in heavily wooded areas. Whether you know of a highly trafficked area in Red Deer that could use a sharps container or have seen a container that’s been vandalized or needs attention, we encourage you to reach out and let us know.

In addition to the needle drop box located in front of our office, there are over a dozen needle drop boxes located throughout Red Deer’s downtown core that are maintained by Turning Point. These boxes are accessible to the public 24/7 and should only be used for the disposal of needles and other sharps (glass, pipes, etc.). Please contact our office to report vandalism.



Turning Point can also provide mobile sharps containers of various sizes for a small fee to individuals, businesses, and agencies throughout Central Alberta. These containers are ideal for a broad range of purposes including public and staff washrooms, personal use, and for individuals/groups involved in community cleanups. Common reasons to have sharps in public spaces is to support diabetics and for those taking hormone injections and/or pain management.

Once filled, sharps containers can also be brought to Turning Point for safe disposal and can be exchanged for an empty, sterile container. Containers will only be excepted during office hours. Never leave a filled sharps container on our property or unattended. If no one is able to accept the container(s), please take it with you and arrange with our staff to accept them at a later date/time. Once we’ve received your filled containers, we will safely hold on to them until they are picked up for safe disposal by Stericycle.

Before handling needles and other debris, it’s important to know best practices for safe sharps pickup and disposal.

Rural support

In addition to accessing supplies in the office and through NightReach, Turning Point has partnered with organizations and businesses within Central Alberta to ensure that new supplies and safe disposal are available to those who need them, for more information please contact us or visit the link below.

We also provide a variety of workshops and community information sessions. Please contact us if you are interested arranging or attending any of our upcoming workshops by calling the office at:

(403) 346-8858