• 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, January 16th, 2023, we hosted 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 Ki'lala Lelum (KL) Health Centre: Health System Transformation and the Results of a Prospective Cohort Study". This webinar included three interrelated presentations. The first described the partnership model of care at Ki'lala Lelum, including findings from staff interviews that explored their experiences implementing this model. The second presented 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 discussed a Chronic Pain Management Program designed for Indigenous people living with OUD and chronic pain and shares its evaluation findings. Speakers included: Elder Bruce Robinson, Elder Sandy Lambert, David Tu, Jill FikowskiClaudia Langemeyer, and Wajid Khan. A question and answer period followed their presentations and discussions. Click here for the webinar recording, as well as the resources and links shared!

On Tuesday, January 24th, we hosted our monthly hot topic webinar: "Prescribed Fentanyl Safe Supply: Team Perspectives". The SAFER Knowledge Translation & Exchange (KTE) team from AVI Health and Community Services discussed early learnings from implementing prescribed fentanyl as a safer supply option. The panel discussion included an introductory presentation on outcomes, opportunities, successes, and failures of prescribed fentanyl safer supply. Following the presentation, the interdisciplinary team of pharmacists, support workers, prescribers, and nursing shared their own unique perspectives via a panel discussion facilitated by Corey Ranger. Speakers included: Laura Cartwright, Ahmad Ghahary, Kelsey Roden, and Tim Gauthier. A question and answer period followed their presentations and discussions. 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 January included:
  • Workshop: Language & stigma related to substance use; language specific to clinical and research settings
  • Presentation: Updates from Toronto Drug Checking Services
  • Xylazine: Prevalence in the U.S. supply vs. supply in Canada
  • Navigating rural communities
  • Managing program waitlists
  • Alberta's classification of "high opioid narcotics"
  • Safer supply and OAT
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!

Are you a health care provider who is involved in prescribing safer supply, e.g., NPs, MDs, PAs, RNs? If you are interested in attending a clinician meeting on prescribing safer supply, please email Rebecca Penn (NSS-CoP Project Manager), at Clinician meeting goals include: (1) Connecting safer supply clinicians; (2) Discussing case studies; (3) Asking questions; and, (4) Sharing clinical experiences.


Join us on Monday, February 6th at 3pm EST for our monthly research spotlight webinar: "Imagine Safer Supply". Imagine Safer Supply is a multi-provincial qualitative research project seeking to explore the attitudes and perceptions people have about safer supply. The project spoke to both people who identify as substance users and people who were primarily involved in frontline service provision to drug users. The Imagine Safer Supply Research Team from the Canadian Drug Policy Coalition (CDPC) will be joining us to tell us more about the project and some of the emerging findings. Speakers soon to be announced. 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. Closed captioning in English will be provided. Register now!

Join us on Thursday, February 23rd at 9am PST | 12pm EST for our monthly hot topic webinar - "Empowering Choice: Expanding Options for Safer Supply in Rural & Remote Communities". The Kootenay Insurrection for Safe Supply (KISS) was established in the summer of 2022 for the purpose of establishing a non-medicalized, peer-led safe supply program to serve the rural & remote West Kootenay region. Hear about their challenges & some of the lessons learned on the rocky road to making that goal a reality, while also hearing from some of Nelson’s prescribed safer supply providers about the challenges and successes they’ve experienced in the course of their work. We will then look to the future, with a discussion of how to build a collaborative continuum of safer supply options that is adaptable and responsive enough to meet the diverse and ever-evolving needs of our rural community, keeping people connected to care, and always with options other than having to access the toxic unregulated drug supply.

Our Speakers:

  • Amber Streukens (ANKORS/REDUN)
  • Erin Thomson (ANKORS/Rise Clinic)
  • Dr. Michael Vance (Interior Health-MHSU)
  • Dr. Thomas Kerr (BCCSU/UBC Department of Medicine)
  • Dylan Griffith (KISS)
  • Phoenix Beck McGreevy (Imagine Safer Supply) [moderator]

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. Closed captioning in English 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!

HIV self-tests are here! Now what? In August 2022, the Government of Canada announced new funding to purchase and distribute HIV self-test kits across the country. The kits are being distributed to individuals and communities most affected by HIV through a combination of community-based organizations and mail orders placed online. CATIE and REACH Nexus - Community Link are collaborating to distribute HIV self-test kits to organizations that support the health of people who use substances. We, alongside many other groups, are working together to engage interested community-based organizations and services, and ensure that they receive kits, training, logistical support and information resources. How your organization can participate: Organizations that would like to learn more or sign up are encouraged to contact Ayibatonye Oriakhi at We can give you more information and ensure you have access to appropriate quantities, training and support, and receive information resources to distribute with your self-test kits. To learn more about HIV self-testing, visit the CATIE website.

#DecrimInBC – Are you protected? New Rights Card! Since the publication of PIVOT’s 2020 report, Act Now! Decriminalizing Drugs in Vancouver, numerous governments have followed PIVOT Legal Society's recommendation to request a federal exemption to decriminalize drug possession. The Province of BC is the first to receive its exemption. Its new policy, a 3-year pilot project, takes effect this month on January 31, 2023. To ensure people in BC know when they are and are not protected by BC’s decriminalization policy, PIVOT Legal Society created a printable Know Your Rights Card with their comrades at the Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users (VANDU). If you’re a person who uses drugs (or a drug user-led group), feel free to contact PIVOT for some hard copy cards.

CATIE Programming Connection - Victoria SAFER Initiative: The Victoria SAFER Initiative (SAFER) provides pharmaceutical alternatives to the unregulated drug supply to prevent and reduce the incidence of ‘overdose’/drug poisoning. SAFER is a flexible, community-based model of safe supply that is grounded in harm reduction policy and practice and utilizes a social justice lens. The SAFER program is run by a multidisciplinary staff team (e.g., support workers, systems navigators, nurses, physicians) and provides support and referrals to other community services. The program offers safe supply (e.g., opioids, stimulants) in a variety of formats (e.g., tablets, patches, liquid). This programming connection publication gives an overview of the SAFER program.

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.

Morris, H., et al. (2023). Public support for safer supply programs: analysis of a cross-sectional survey of Canadians in two provinces | Canadian Journal of Public Health 


  • The majority of respondents (Alberta: 63.5% and Saskatchewan: 56.3%) supported safer supply programs that replace illegal street drugs with pharmaceutical alternatives for those unable to stop using.
  • Predicted probabilities show a greater probability of support for safer supply among those with higher education and those leaning left on the political spectrum.
  • A majority of Canadians from Alberta and Saskatchewan supported provincial government efforts to expand safer supply, suggesting a lack of public support is not the main barrier to implementation.
  • Efforts at mobilizing this public opinion are needed to scale up and facilitate evaluation of this drug poisoning response.

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.


Webinar Series on Anti-Black Racism and Public Health - National Collaborating Centre for Determinants of Health: Anti-Black racism is a specific form of racism, rooted in the colonial history and practice of enslavement, that continues to impact the lives of Black people, regardless of whether they have a specific lineage to the enslaved in Canada, or if they are recent comers to Canada. Policies and practices rooted in Canadian institutions such as, health care, education, and justice mirror and reinforce beliefs, attitudes, prejudice, stereotyping and/or discrimination towards people of African descent and lead to a lack of equitable access, opportunities, and outcomes for Black people. Recognizing the need for specialized public health education and action in this area, the NCCDH is partnering with the Black Health Education Collaborative, a community of scholars and practitioners committed to improving Black health through education and research. This partnership will offer the Canadian public health community an important capacity building opportunity in the form of a three-part interactive webinar series. In this series, participants will explore how anti-Black racism impacts health and identify concrete opportunities for public health action. Learn more about the series here!

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. Abstract submissions are now open - the deadline is February 28thRegistration 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.

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):

Share your skills:

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.

Share your successes:

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

How can we help? Let us know what you need! Our goal is to support you by assisting in areas around your programs, organizations, and communities!

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Have a question that you’d like to ask? Email us: or send a message via Twitter, Instagram, Facebook.
(519) 660-0875 ext. 1264

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