April 9, 2017

Peer Education

Peer education when applied to illicit drug use is aimed at reducing drug-related harms and promoting the health of people who use drugs through effecting changes in knowledge, attitudes, beliefs, and behaviours of individual drug users, and influencing the norms and culture of drug use groups.

Peer education strategies are effective in accessing hard-to-reach populations, increasing knowledge, and promoting attitude and behaviour changes, individually and collectively. QuIHN’s peer education training courses, such as QUIC’s, are for people who currently inject drugs throughout the state and focus on:

  • Reducing the risk of blood borne virus transmission (i.e. hepatitis C and HIV)
  • Encouraging early testing and treatment for blood borne viruses, particularly hepatitis C
  • Building the capacity of people who inject drugs in making health enhancing life choices
  • Developing harm reduction knowledge, skills and behaviours of people who inject drugs
  • Encouraging trained peers to distribute information and model harm reduction strategies within peer networks
  • Support ongoing information distribution amongst people who inject drugs in drug using contexts, both during and after completion of training courses
  • Encourage peer educators to have continual input and involvement with the QuIHN’s peer education activities and services through feedback, planning, and evaluation, and through development of other related projects in conjunction with QuIHN, and other relevant agencies and services
  • Increase access among people who inject drugs to health and welfare services