A Note on the 4 Pillars and our logo

When discussing the ‘4 Pillars’ many people think of this approach as 4 distinct pillars with harm reduction on one end, enforcement on the other, and prevention and treatment somewhere in between. We understand that while the issues surrounding drug and alcohol use and misuse are complex, with a number of underlying causes, so too are the solutions. This is why we show the 4 pillars as more of a Venn diagram with each of the pillars overlapping and the client in the centre. This is what is reflected in our logo.

Four Pillars
A 4 pillars drug strategy is a coordinated, comprehensive approach that balances public order and public health in order to create a safer, healthier community
Four Pillars


Prevention refers to interventions that seek to prevent or delay the onset of substance use as well as to avoid problems before they occur.

Health Promotion & Education
​More than education, prevention involves strengthening the health, social and economic factors that can reduce the risk of substance use, including access to health care, stable housing, education and employment. Examples of prevention include mentoring programs, municipal alcohol policies, and limiting the sale of alcohol.

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Treatment refers to the programming provided to people already dealing with a substance use issue, with services ranging from a philosophy of total abstinence to one that focuses on managing use.

Rehabilitation & Recovery
​Examples of treatment include residential withdrawal management (“detox”) and outpatient treatment, counselling, and substitution therapies e.g., methadone maintenance therapy.

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Four Pillars
Four Pillars

Harm Reduction

Harm Reduction refers to a range of pragmatic and evidence-based public health policies designed to reduce the harmful consequences associated with drug use.

Public Health & Human Rights
Harm reduction can include low use drinking guidelines, safer injection equipment and condom distribution as well as counseling and referrals, and the dissemination of knowledge and information.

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Enforcement refers to interventions that seek to strengthen community safety by responding to the crimes and community disorder issues associated with legal and illegal substances.

Justice & Social Justice
Enforcement includes the broader criminal justice system of the courts, probation and parole, diversion programs etc. By including social justice we are broadening the scope of this pillar.

Four Pillars