• Past and Upcoming Events

  • Featured Resources

  • Research Paper of the Month

  • Research

  • Community Updates and Events

  • In the News

  • Ways to Get Involved



On Monday, December 5th, 2022, we hosted our monthly research spotlight webinar. Dr. Stephanie Glegg and Dr. Nadia Fairbairn from the British Columbia Centre on Substance Use presented the paper “COVID just kind of opened a can of whoop-ass”: The rapid growth of safer supply prescribing during the pandemic documented through an environmental scan of addiction and harm reduction services in Canada". A question and answer period followed their presentation. Click here for the webinar recording, as well as the resources and links shared!


Weekly Member Drop-In Meetings:
Members are welcome to join our weekly meeting drop-in meetings. It is an interdisciplinary group with prescribers, pharmacists, harm reduction workers, policy folks, nurses, people who use drugs, etc. Right now, we are meeting on Thursdays at 12pm EDT. Zoom Link

In addition to time for community updates and discussion, our meetings now include an informal presentation from a member or guest about the work that they are doing. You can sign up to present about the work you are doing by clicking here.

Themes that arose in the community discussion portion of our meetings in December included:
  • Presentation from Substance User Network of the Atlantic Region (SUNAR)
  • Challenges with starting safer supply programs in the context of short-term funding
  • Presentation about Alberta’s new "Narcotic Transition Program" and the perspectives of impacted individuals and physicians
  • Who qualifies, and who is affected by the new legislation in Alberta?
  • How will the new legislation impact someone on hydromorphone?
Full meeting minutes can be found in the meeting notes and resources folder on our Google Drive.

Want to learn more about our different working groups? Come check out what we've been up to!


Join us on Monday, January 16th at 12pm PST | 3pm EST for our monthly research spotlight webinar: Improving Care and Reducing Overdose Risk for Indigenous People Living with Opioid Use Disorder through Partnering with Indigenous Elders at the Kilala Lelum (KL) Health Centre: Health System Transformation and the Results of a Prospective Cohort Study. This webinar includes three interrelated presentations. The first describes the partnership model of care at Kilala Lelum, including findings from staff interviews that explored their experiences implementing this model. The second presents the quantitative and qualitative findings of a prospective cohort study investigating the impacts of connecting with Indigenous Elders as part of routine primary care among Indigenous adults living with Opioid Use Disorder (OUD). The stories of nine Indigenous people living with OUD who connected with an Elder as part of their primary care will be shared. The third discusses a Chronic Pain Management Program designed for Indigenous people living with OUD and chronic pain and shares its evaluation findings.

Speakers include: Elder Bruce Robinson, Elder Sandy Lambert, David Tu, Jill Fikowski, Claudia Langemeyer, and Wajid Khan. By the end of this webinar, participants will be able to recognize the importance of including Indigenous Elders in the care of Indigenous People and describe the impacts on providers and patients living with OUD. This is a public webinar and anyone can attend! A brief question and answer period will follow the presentation. Audience members may submit questions using the Q & A box. Close captioning in English will be provided. 
Register now!

Are you a health care provider who is involved in prescribing safer supply, e.g., NPs, MDs, PAs, RNs? Then this meeting is for you! Join us on Thursday, January 19th from 3-4pm EST for our Safer Supply Clinical Meeting for Health Care Providers. Join Nurse Practitioners' Mish Waraksa (Parkdale Queen West CHC) and Emmet O'Reilly (South Riverdale CHC) to talk about safer supply prescribing. Register now!

Meeting Goals: 

  • Connect safer supply clinicians
  • Discuss case studies
  • Ask questions
  • Share clinical experiences

Who is this meeting for?
Health Care Providers who are involved in prescribing safer supply, e.g., NPs, MDs, PAs, RNs. If you have questions, please contact Rebecca Penn, NSS-CoP Project Manager at We hope to see you there!

Join us on Tuesday, January 24th at 10am PST | 1pm EST for our monthly hot topic webinar - Prescribed Fentanyl Safe Supply: Team Perspectives. Join the SAFER Knowledge Translation & Exchange (KTE) team from AVI Health and Community Services to discuss early learnings from implementing prescribed fentanyl as a safer supply option. This panel discussion includes an introductory presentation on outcomes, opportunities, successes, and failures of prescribed fentanyl safer supply. Following the presentation, the interdisciplinary team of pharmacists, support worker, prescribers, and nursing will share their own unique perspectives via a panel discussion facilitated by Corey Ranger. Speakers include: Laura Cartwright, Ahmad Ghahary, Kelsey Roden, and Tim Gauthier. This is a public webinar and anyone can attend! A question and answer period will follow the presentation. Audience members may submit questions using the Q & A box. Close captioning in English and French simultaneous oral translation will be provided. Register now!

NSS-CoP Resource Library: Did you know we have a resource library with OVER 900 resources on safer supply? You can access it for FREE anytime. It features academic journal articles, grey literature, knowledge translation materials, clinical practice guidelines, and more!

Connecting to Culture - First Nations Health Authority: The 'Connecting to Culture' video series includes three videos. The videos are teaching tools intended to support discussions in First Nations communities about harm reduction, substance use and stigma. The series uses an Indigenous lens and includes the perspectives of Elders, peers, and youth.

National Drug Alert System - Accidental Drug Poisoning Crisis Community of Practice: Using a crowdsourcing approach, the ADPC-CoP works with harm reduction services and drug-checking services from across the country to source accurate and up-to-date information regarding contaminated drug supply. This map-based dashboard displays contaminated drug supply alerts from their partner organizations. Please click on the User Guide at the bottom of the dashboard for more information on how to use the map.

Strengthening Public Health Systems in Canada: The Canadian Public Health Association has launched an advocacy campaign calling for governments across Canada to strengthen the foundations of public health systems, making them cohesive, comprehensive and accountable. In 2023, CPHA will ask federal Parliamentarians and officials to address the structure of public health systems as a highest-priority issue. Subsequently, we will address our campaign to provincial, territorial, regional and municipal governments as well. Learn more about the campaign here.

Points of Perspective - Research Report on the Federal Prison Needle Exchange Program in Canada: Despite ample empirical evidence demonstrating the effectiveness of needle and syringe programs, the federal Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) refused for decades to implement this essential prison harm reduction program. After years of inaction, in 2012 the HIV Legal Network along with Steve Simons, a man formerly incarcerated in a federal prison, and three HIV organizations — PASAN, CATIE, and CAAN — launched a constitutional challenge to compel CSC to provide people in prison with access to sterile injection equipment. In 2018, CSC introduced a “Prison Needle Exchange Program” (PNEP) and committed to scaling this up across all federal prisons. But in 2022, the program only exists in nine federal prisons and has been heavily criticized for its inaccessibility. Four years after its implementation, Points of Perspective seeks to explore barriers to accessing the PNEP and builds on the On Point: Recommendations for Prison-based Needle and Syringe Programs in Canada report released in 2016 by Toronto Metropolitan University, the HIV Legal Network, and PASAN.

Beyond Prohibition - Community Engagement on Workers Rights and Addressing the Drug Toxicity Crisis: BC is experiencing a public health crisis stemming from an influx in toxic drug supply. The number of overdose deaths has skyrocketed in recent years, as a result of an unregulated drug supply, stigmatization, and criminalization of drug use. On April 14, 2016, the B.C. government declared opioid-related deaths a public health emergency. Since then, decision-makers have failed to adequately address the crisis. Earlier this year, the BC Health Coalition, in collaboration with the Canadian Drug Policy Coalition (CDPC), convened to learn from panellists and gain a deeper understanding of the drug policy landscape in British Columbia. As a result of the dialogue, the BC Health Coalition has published a report presenting a summary and key recommendations.

Crackdown Podcast - Episode 35: On the Clock: The most recent episode of Crackdown Podcast is now available! Here is a brief description of the episode: "Sex workers who use drugs are doubly criminalized. They have to look out for bad dope and bad dates. And change comes slow. Fights for incremental change don’t get at the big structures that cause so much harm. Are they worth it? We wonder about this when it comes to drug decriminalization. Next year it’ll be legal to carry small amounts of opioids, meth, coke and MDMA in British Columbia. We fought hard for this. Of course, the government’s concession is a watered down version of our original demand. But limiting police discretion to lock us up is a step in the right direction. At least we hope so.  The prohibition of sex work began centuries before drug prohibition. Sex workers have long had dangerous working conditions imposed on them by puritanic laws. The criminalization of drug use and sex work has made both unnecessarily risky. But reforms have been won over the years. In 2014, selling sex was decriminalized in Canada. And since 2020, BC has offered a version of safer supply to a few thousand drug users. In the wilderness of laws that continue to criminalize most aspects of sex work and most aspects of drug use – do these reforms matter? On today’s episode I explore this idea with sex worker advocates, Jlynn and Jade, as well as academics, Andrea Krüsi and Jenn McDermid."

Gomes, T., et al. (2022). Changing patterns of opioid initiation for pain management in Ontario, Canada: A population-based cross-sectional study | PLOS One


  • The recent publication of a national guideline and quality standards in Canada have provided clinicians with new, evidence-based recommendations on safe, appropriate opioid use.
  • We sought to characterize how well opioid initiation practices aligned with these recommendations before and following their release.
  • Despite some modest reductions in initiation of high dose and long duration prescription opioids between 2015 and 2019, clinical practice is highly variable, with opioid prescribing practices influenced by clinical indication.
  • These findings may help identify medical specialties well-suited to targeted interventions to promote safer opioid prescribing.

We encourage NSS-CoP members to email with submissions to include in our newsletter. Content examples include but are not limited to community-led projects, peer-reviewed articles, grey literature, government publications, etc.


Xylazine Effects on Wounds - How and Why We Care: Join this webinar happening on January 10th at 12pm PST | 3pm EST on xylazine effects on wounds, presented by Rebecca A. Hosey (RN, BSN, MPH) and the Harm Reduction Nurses Association. Rebecca will share her knowledge with us as a nurse/public health consultant with direct experience of xylazine wound care in Philadelphia. Register now!

Public Health 2023 - Canadian Public Health Association: Public Health 2023 is the national conference where public health professionals, researchers, policy-makers, academics, students and trainees come together to strengthen efforts to improve health and well-being, to share the latest research and information, to promote best practices and to advocate for public health issues and policies grounded in research. CPHA will embrace technology and present sessions June 20th to 22nd from 11am to 4:30pm EDT dailyFind more information and important dates here!

5th Annual British Columbia Substance Use Conference: The British Columbia Centre on Substance Use conference planning committee is excited to announce that the 5th annual BC Substance Use Conference will be held April 20th to 22nd, 2023. To enable provincial-wide participation, BCCSU will be hosting a blended conference this year, with both virtual and in-person options for attendance. The in-person program will be held at the JW Marriott Parq Vancouver. The conference theme this year is The Challenge of Change. We hope this theme will empower conference attendees to better understand and adapt to the rapidly changing landscape within which we live and work. Registration information coming soon - find more information here!

META:PHI Webinar Series 2023: Check out and register for the META:PHI webinar series line up for 2023. META:PHI hosts a virtual presentation on the second Wednesday of each month from 7:00pm to 8:30pm EST. These sessions are intended for service providers who work with people who use substances. All sessions are free.

Supporting Workforce Mental Health in the face of Adversity - A Trauma-informed Organizational Capability Approach: The Registered Nurses Association (RNAO) in partnership with Nurse Practitioner Interest Group (NPIG) invite you to join them on January 17th, 2023 for the webinar Supporting Workforce Mental Health in the Face of Adversity: A Trauma-informed Organizational Capability Approach with special guest speaker: Rosanra Yoon, PhD, MN, NP, Assistant Professor, Daphne Cockwell School of Nursing, Toronto Metropolitan University The objectives for this webinar are: 1) Understanding of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the overdose crisis and the impacts on nurses; 2) Understanding the impacts of our current healthcare context on nurses’ health and well-being; and, 3) Gaining insights into various strategies that individual nurses and organizations can implement to preserve and improve nurses’ mental wellness. Register now!

BC ECHO on Substance Use Session - Opioid Agonist Treatment (OAT) and Pharmacy: The next BC ECHO on Substance User session is happening on Thursday, January 26th, 2023 from 12-1pm PST | 3-4pm EST. Dr. Mona Kwong's presentation will: describe OAT options, identify common drug-drug interactions with opioid agonist treatment medications, help avoid common errors when writing opioid agonist treatment prescriptions, and describe the logistics of pharmacy opioid agonist treatment administration, including witnessed ingestion, take-home doses, and prescription cancellations. Register now!

Student Overdose Prevention and Education Network (SOPEN): SOPEN Hamilton is looking for volunteers! To get in touch, visit their website, follow them on social media platforms @sopenhamilton, email them at, request a presentation, and sign up to volunteer. You can also obtain fentanyl testing strips. SOPEN has 500 fentanyl testing strips to give away free of charge (1-5 testing strips per person). You can request testing strips hereYou can donate to SOPEN here!

Centre on Drug Policy Evaluation – Community Steering Committee Call Out: The Canadian Association of People Who Use Drugs (CAPUD) is helping put together a community based steering committee for The Centre of Drug Policy Evaluation. The community based steering committee will hold an open meeting on January 18th from 2pm to 3:30pm EST for potential members to come and learn about what the steering committee will entail. See below for more information on the meeting, the organization, and the steering committee. The Centre on Drug Policy Evaluation (CDPE) strives to improve community health and safety by conducting research and outreach on best practices in drug policy. We work collaboratively with governments, affected communities, and civil society to guide effective and evidence-based policy responses to substance use. The CDPE uses knowledge translation to inform policymakers, affected communities, key stakeholders, and the general public on pressing current issues surrounding illegal drugs and drug policy. The CDPE also manages the Toronto Drug Checking Service throughout Toronto, a voluntary service that allows people to check the contents of their drugs before or after using to prevent unknown and harmful outcomes. The CDPE is implementing a Community Steering Committee of people with lived experience of drug use to provide strategic guidance across the range of projects we undertake. The Community Steering Committee will meet every quarter, with the possibility of meeting more frequently for specific projects as needed. Steering committee members will be compensated $50 for their participation for each meeting attended. Meetings will be held using a hybrid model of over the phone and in our office located at the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute attached to St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto. The community steering committee will be limited to 15 members, for the length of 1 year. We will be having an initial information session on January 18 from 2pm-3:30pm EST to outline who we are, our research, other projects within CDPE, and to provide more details on the Community Steering Committee. This is for community members to attend to explore their interest in being part of the steering committee. Please note that while participation on the Community Steering Committee will be compensated, participation at the initial information meeting, which is optional, will not be. For more information, please contact Matthew Bonn at OR Carman Brown at To join the meeting on January 18th, you can use this zoom link.
National and General News: British Columbia:
Saskatchewan: Manitoba: Ontario: Yukon, Northwest Territories, and Nunavut: Québec (et en français s'il vous plaît!): Atlantic Region (Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador):

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We’d like to create opportunities for skills sharing. Let us know if you would like to offer a workshop or present to the membership.

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Share your success stories, your reports, and safer supply resources that you develop with the NSS-CoP membership through:

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