• Past and Upcoming Events

  • Updates to Prescriber Consultation Service

  • Featured Resources

  • Research Paper of the Month

  • Research

  • Community Updates and Events

  • Call Out for Speakers and Presenters

  • In the News

  • Ways to Get Involved



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 April included:
  • Conversations about drug checking.
  • Collaboration in the harm reduction community - building a supportive, diverse, and inclusive community.
  • Safer supply and decriminalization - pills without prescriptions, buyers' clubs, threat of capitalism taking over safer supply.
  • Presentation from Stimulus 2023 team and Q&A.
  • Love in the Time of Fentanyl - new documentary.
  • Frustrations and struggles for service workers navigating gaps in care.
  • Self-care to prevent burnout.
  • Xylazine trends in drug supply.
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 this coming Monday, May 1st, 2023 at 3pm EDT for a Research Spotlight Webinar featuring a presentation and discussion of the Parkdale Queen West Community Health Centre (PQWCHC) Safer Supply Program Evaluation Results. The session will include an overview of the program, a summary of key evaluation findings, and context on how these findings align with current research and advocacy led by people who use drugs. Register now!

Our Speakers:
  • Paul Colosimo (SOS Case Manager, PQWCHC)
  • Kate Atkinson (SOS Project Manager, PQWCHC)
  • Ashley Smoke (Capacity Building Lead, Women & HIV/AIDS Initiative of Ontario)
You can read their full bios here. Additionally, the PQWCHC SOS Evaluation Report is now available. The report includes a summary of client-identified needs related to safer supply and recommendations at the program, community, and policy levels. For a summary of the report’s key findings, client-identified needs, and recommendations, view and share this infographic.

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 our next clinician meeting on prescribing safer supply on Wednesday, May 3rd at 12pm PDT | 3pm EDT, please register here. Clinician meeting goals include: (1) Connecting safer supply clinicians; (2) Discussing case studies; (3) Asking questions; and, (4) Sharing clinical experiences.

Join us on Wednesday, May 17th, 2023 from 1 to 2:30pm EDT for the hot topic webinar "Safer Supply: Current Perspectives and Evidence" being delivered by CATIE in partnership with the NSS-CoP. The goal of this webinar is to build awareness and understanding of safer supply in Canada. Speakers will provide an overview of what safer supply is, the growing body of research evidence that informs this approach, and examples of what safer supply looks like in practice. The webinar will draw on research, clinical and lived experience, as well as advocacy and public health expertise from individuals with extensive experience in safer supply.

Moderator: Christopher Hoy, CATIE


  • Angela Robertson, Executive Director, Parkdale Queen West Community Health Centre 
  • Ashley Smoke, Founder and Board Member, Ontario Network of People Who Use Drugs (ONPUD); Board Member, Canadian Association of People Who Use Drugs (CAPUD)  
  • Corey Ranger, Registered Nurse and Knowledge Translation Specialist, AVI Health & Community Services; President, Harm Reduction Nurses Association 
  • Gillian Kolla, PhD, Research Fellow, Canadian Institute for Substance Use Research, University of Victoria
  • Marie-Ève Goyer, MD, Family Physician and Scientific Director, Institut universitaire sur les dépendances 

This webinar will be delivered in English and simultaneously interpreted in French. To register in English, click here. Pour s'inscrire en français, veuillez suivre ce lien.


Did you know we have a prescriber consultation service? This service offers a direct link between health care providers and experienced safer supply providers (e.g., physician, nurse practitioners). We've recently made some changes to how our consultation service works. For better accessibility and continuity, the consultant phone number will be discontinued on Monday, April 3rd, 2023, and registered consultation service members will use an email address to connect with the consultant instead. A confirmation email was sent to all NSS-CoP members who are registered with us as safer supply prescribers. If you didn't receive this message and/or want to register for the prescriber consultation service as a physician or nurse practitioner, please email us at

Prescribed Safer Supply - Emerging Evidence: This evidence brief produced by the NSS-CoP summarizes existing and newly emerging evidence regarding prescribed safer supply. It covers who can access prescribed safer supply, evidence from research and evaluation studies, success factors for prescribed safer supply programs, and much more. Click here to read the full evidence brief!

NSS-CoP Resource Library: Did you know we have a resource library with OVER 1,000 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!

Knowledge Exchange Series on Safer Supply - Health Canada: In fall 2022, Health Canada hosted a 3-part, virtual Knowledge Exchange Series (KES) on Safer Supply, with key stakeholders. The purpose of the KES was to hear from a range of participants on the current evidence and knowledge around safer supply, share experiences of what is or isn’t working well, and discuss how current research and knowledge can be used to design new models and services while reducing risks or unintended results from these programs. This report summarizes findings from the three KES sessions, including the presentations, panel discussions, and participant discussions during the small breakout rooms.

Substance Use Patterns and Safer Supply Preferences Among People Who Use Drugs in British Columbia: In March 2023, the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) published a report on safer supply preferences among people with lived experience in BC. As defined in the publication, safer supply refers to a legal and regulated supply of drugs and pharmaceutical alternatives to drugs that have been traditionally criminalized. Data was obtained from the Harm Reduction Client Survey, which surveyed individuals who accessed harm reduction distribution sites across BC, and interviews and focus groups with people with lived experience of substance use. The purpose of the study was to identify strengths and challenges of the current implementation of safer supply in BC, in order to improve future models of safer supply in BC. The report outlines thirteen recommendations provided by the authors, based on the results of the study. Read the full report here and the infographic summary here.

Best Practices for Supporting People Who Use Substances - SafeLink Alberta: As a component of the Substance Use Capacity Building Project, SafeLink Alberta has developed the Best Practices for Supporting People Who Use Substances Toolkit. Over the past year, SafeLink Alberta conducted a review of available literature and consulted with people with lived and living experience, service providers who support people who use substances, and other industry experts to inform their toolkit. Click here to download your copy!

Choosing a New Direction - Drug Strategy Network of Ontario: The Drug Strategy Network of Ontario is inviting all municipalities and area partners in Ontario to take strategic action to end the drug poisoning crisis. Three infographics - in English, French, and plain text - were developed by municipal drug strategy members to assist you and your networks in advancing the opportunities to improve both individual and community health and safety. Download and discover interactive links provided by the Drug Strategy Network of Ontario.

Prescribed Safer Supply Protocols - Fentanyl Patch: These resources provide a standardized protocol for the provision of fentanyl patches to reduce reliance on the illicit drug supply and associated harms. This protocol is adapted from PHS Community Services Society’s Fentanyl Patch Policy and Vancouver Coastal Health’s Fentanyl Patch Clinical Operational Manual.

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.
Giang, K., et al. (2023). Risk mitigation guidance and safer supply prescribing among young people who use drugs in the context of COVID-19 and overdose emergencies | International Journal of Drug Policy 

  • In British Columbia, risk mitigation guidance prescriptions of hydromorphone tablets were introduced during COVID-19 to reduce risks of withdrawal and overdose in the context of greater isolation 
  • Young people who use drugs in Vancouver hoped that these prescriptions would offset their use of illicit fentanyl, but use of the latter persisted 
  • The prescriptions could constitute forms of harm reduction and survival in the context of entrenched poverty 
  • More robust medical and community-based safe supply programs are urgently needed alongside various forms of substance use treatment

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.


2023 Stimulus Conference: Registration is now open for Stimulus 2023, the largest national harm reduction and drug policy gathering in Canada! Stimulus 2023 is a two-and-a-half day event scheduled October 5-7, 2023 in Ottawa, Ontario. They expect to welcome 1,500 people whose expertise includes substance use experts, nurses, social workers, physicians, corrections staff, frontline workers, people involved in sex work, researchers, and other key stakeholders from across Canada. You can register now here! Stimulus 2023 is also now accepting calls for abstracts, activities, presentations, and ideas for the conference. The deadline is May 8th, 2023. Submit yours here!

Solidarity Teams Workshop for Workers with Vikki Reynolds - AIDS Bereavement and Resiliency Program of Ontario (ABRPO) - May 4th, 2023: In this workshop on May 4th (morning and afternoon sessions available), the following questions will be addressed: How can we build Solidarity Teams for our collective care and sustainability? How can we hold onto our solidarity and our fabulous and painful histories of joint struggle against multiple oppressions including Necropolitics & structural abandonment? How do we stay in dialogue, with respect, across time, without getting caught up in using power-over practices or re-enacting the abuses of power we are fighting against?  How do we enact the analysis and justice-doing we want to create more of? How can we nurture ‘Cultures of Critique’, embrace hopeful skepticism and enact our collective ethics as social justice movements? When resisting powers that work to divide us, how do we enact collective accountability, embrace groundless solidarity and infinite responsibility, and co-create an ethical stance of believed-in hope? You can register here for free for the morning or afternoon session.

Connected Communities: Building Equitable Integrated Healthcare: The Alliance for Healthier Communities will hold the annual primary health care conference, Connected Communities: Building Equitable Integrated Healthcare, on June 7-8, 2023, at the Sheraton Parkway Toronto North Hotel & Suites. At the Connected Communities conference, they will focus on community-led innovation and solutions tapping into new research results and evidence-informed practices that are demonstrating how integrated care systems that focus on health equity and community are improving population health outcomes. Register now! The NSS-CoP's session, the Ontario Model of Prescribed Safer Supply, is on June 8th.

Petition to the Government of Canada - e-4292 (Health): There is currently a petition open for signatures calling for the refinement of the national approach to treating substance use disorder to emphasize evidence-based harm reduction strategies like safe consumption sites, safer supply, and drug checking services. You can sign on here until July 14th, 2023.

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 ET. These sessions are intended for service providers who work with people who use substances. All sessions are free.


Dear NSS-CoP members,

We'd love to involve more of you in our work. This is an open invitation for you to chat with us if you think you might like to be:

  • on our speakers/presenters list (e.g., weekly drop-ins, webinars, presentations, etc.)
  • a facilitator, moderator, or presenter at a role-specific meeting
    (e.g., clinicians/prescribers, nurses, program operators, etc.)
  • something else we haven't thought of yet!

If you're interested, drop us a line at

We look forward to hearing from you,
NSS-CoP team

National and General News: British Columbia:
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!

Want to provide us with anonymous feedback, suggestions, and/or comments? Fill out this anonymous feedback survey - it is completely anonymous and confidential.

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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