• Past and Upcoming Events

  • Prescriber Consultation Service

  • Featured Resources

  • Research Paper of the Month

  • Research

  • Community Updates and Events

  • In the News

  • Ways to Get Involved



On July 13th, we hosted the research spotlight webinar: "Substance Use Patterns and Safer Supply Preferences Among People Who Use Drugs in British Columbia". Speakers presented findings from the Patterns and Preferences Study. Presenters talked about quantitative and qualitative findings from a provincial needs assessment led by the BC Centre for Disease Control, in collaboration with a peer advisory and peer researchers. This needs assessment aimed to identify the safer supply preferences and needs of people who use illegal drugs in British Columbia to center PWUD in the design and delivery of safer supply policies and programs. The main focus was on the substances and modes of use PWUD shared that they would need in order to make safer supply accessible and reduce their reliance on the illegal, contaminated drug supply. A question and answer period followed the presentation.

Our speakers included:

  • Dr. Jane Buxton, Professor Emeritus, University of British Columbia
    Patterns & Preferences Study Principal Investigator, BC Centre for Disease Control
  • Jessica Xavier, Qualitative Research Lead, University of British Columbia
    Patterns & Preferences Study Research Lead, BC Centre for Disease Control
  • Phoenix Beck McGreevy, Peer Research Associate, Canadian Institute for Substance Use Research; Community Research Associate, Canadian Drug Policy Coalition; Patterns & Preferences Study Research Associate, BC Centre for Disease Control
  • Jenny McDougall, Co-Founder and Office Coordinator, Coalition of Substance Users of the North; Patterns & Preferences Study Research Assistant, Professionals for the Ethical Engagement of Peers, BC Centre for Disease Control
Click here for the webinar recording, as well as all the resources and links shared!

On July 24th, we hosted the research spotlight webinar: "A Prescription for Safety: A Study of Safer Opioid Supply Programs in Ontario – A community report launch". Presenters discussed key findings from their study of safer supply programs in London and Toronto, Ontario. A brief Q & A session followed the presentation. Click here to download the full report!

Our speakers included:

  • Dr. Carol Strike, Professor, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto
  • Dr. Adrian Guta, Associate Professor, School of Social Work, University of Windsor
  • Rose Schmidt, PhD Candidate, Social and Behavioural Health, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto
  • Emmet O'Reilly, Nurse Practitioner, South Riverdale Community Health Centre
  • Nat Kaminski, President, Ontario Network of People Who Use Drugs, Researcher, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto
Click here for the webinar recording, as well as all the resources and links shared!


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 ET. 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. Meeting notes and resources can be found 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 our next clinician meeting on prescribing safer supply on Wednesday, August 2nd at 12pm PT | 3pm ET, please register here. Clinician meeting goals include: (1) Connecting safer supply clinicians; (2) Discussing case studies; (3) Asking questions; and, (4) Sharing clinical experiences. Register now!

RNAO’s Mental Health and Substance Use Program team invites you to attend the third webinar in their Harm Reduction Series, in partnership with the Harm Reduction Nurses Association (HRNA), the National Safer Supply Community of Practice (NSS-CoP), Moms Stop the Harm (MSTH), Community Health Nurses’ Interest Group (CHNIG) and Mental Health Nurses Interest Group (MHNIG). The session on Tuesday, August 15th "Prescribed Safer Supply: Background and Busting Myths" focuses on the background and implementation of prescribed safer supply.

During the webinar participants can learn about the:

  • goals of prescribed safer supply by understanding the problem it aims to address, i.e., the unpredictable unregulated drug supply and harmful drug policies and how safer supply fits in with progressive policy-oriented solutions to addressing the problem
  • philosophy of care: the role prescribed safer supply has on the continuum of care for people who use drugs, and its relationship to other harm reduction interventions, such as supervised consumption services
  • emerging evidence of the impacts safer supply programs have on client outcomes and health systems

Presenters and credentials:

  • Marysia (Mish) Waraksa, NP and Clinical Lead, Parkdale Queen West Community Health Centre Safer Opioid Supply Program
  • Marlene Haines, NP, PhD Candidate
Register now!

Join us on Monday, August 21st for a research spotlight webinar: "Women’s experiences in injectable opioid agonist treatment programs in Vancouver, Canada". Injectable opioid agonist treatment (iOAT) has recently been expanded in some geographical contexts as part of a response to the escalating overdose crisis. The overdose crisis and drug treatment are shaped by complex gendered dynamics, including power differentials, violence, and social norms, that can adversely impact women’s experiences. Drawing from a qualitative study of iOAT programs in Vancouver, this presentation examines how social and structural factors impact women’s engagement with iOAT.

Presenters include:

  • Samara Mayer, University of British Columbia, BC Centre on Substance Use
  • Jules Chapman, BC Centre on Substance Use

This webinar is open to all. A question and answer period will follow the presentation. Register now!

RNAO’s Mental Health and Substance Use Program team invites you to attend the fourth webinar in their Harm Reduction Series, in partnership with the Harm Reduction Nurses Association (HRNA), the National Safer Supply Community of Practice (NSS-CoP), Moms Stop the Harm (MSTH), Community Health Nurses’ Interest Group (CHNIG) and Mental Health Nurses Interest Group (MHNIG). The session on Tuesday, August 22nd "Understanding the impact: Safer Supply Program Models and Nursing Practice" focuses on the evidence around safer supply programs as part of a harm reduction approach and analyzes the role of nurses in this work.

The objectives of this webinar are to:

  • learn about prescribed safer supply program models in Ontario
  • analyze the role of nurses in safer supply programs
  • understand the impacts and implications of safer supply in the context of nursing practice
  • apply and integrate new knowledge of safer supply prescribing into nursing practice
  • learn about the benefits, challenges, and next steps for prescribed safer supply programs

Presenters and credentials:

  • Marysia (Mish) Waraksa, NP and clinical lead, Parkdale Queen West Community Health Centre Safer Opioids Supply Program
  • Marlene Haines, NP, PhD candidate
  • Sophia Coulter-English, RN
Register now!

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 practitioner). For better accessibility and continuity, registered consultation service members use an email address to connect with the consultant directly. If you want to register for the prescriber consultation service as a physician or nurse practitioner, please email us at

Key Messages on Safer Supply: The NSS-CoP has assembled key messages on safer supply as well as a series of infographics and social media campaign packages. Updates to these key messages will happen on an ongoing basis as more research, evidence, and information emerges. Check it out now!
Imagine Safe Supply – Summary of Findings, June 2023: Imagine Safe Supply is a community-based research project that explores ideas about participation in safe supply. Between January and June of 2021, we interviewed 33 people who use drugs and frontline workers from across British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario and Quebec about what they want and need for safe supply. 

A Prescription for Safety: A Study of Safer Opioid Supply Programs in Ontario: This report focuses on four Ontario SOS programs and presents key findings from interviews with clients, providers, and pharmacists. Our findings show that these programs save lives, improve health outcomes, and enhance client’s quality of life. Based on the findings, we make recommendations to enhance SOS programs, including providing a wider range of safer supply options, exploring different delivery models, and addressing the ongoing need for stable housing. 

Update on Xylazine in Canada and the United States – Canadian Community Epidemiology Network on Drug Use: This Bulletin updates recent data on xylazine’s presence in the unregulated drug supply from a CCENDU alert in July 2022. It also assesses concerns among community partners and highlights public health-based solutions. CCENDU partnered with the National Drug Early Warning System (NDEWS) in the United States and the Public Health Agency of Canada to create the update. 

Don’t Be A Copagandist: Drug War Edition - A Resource for Media on Covering Drug Use and the War on Drugs:  Interrupting Criminalization, Marijuana Justice, and the Drug Policy Alliance have developed this list of tips for how to avoid reproducing criminalizing narratives and focus on health, harm reduction, human dignity, and justice in drug coverage. 

Harm reduction in Canada Film Series – CATIE: CATIE teamed up with the International Network on Health and Hepatitis in Substance Users (INHSU) and filmmaker Conor Ashleigh to profile how local harm reduction programs are delivering care in four cities across Canada. We visited community organizations in Halifax, Quebec City, Saskatoon and Victoria to showcase innovative programs for people who use drugs. This includes safer supply, mobile outreach, integrated healthcare, peer-led services and more. The videos explore the stories behind these programs, including the people and places that make this work possible. 

Peer Life: A Degree in Street Knowledge: This new resource contains 7 comic strips based on Tracy, Amy, and Ryan’s lived experiences as peers working in the suburban Lower Mainland. The purpose of this project is to produce comics for other peers that offer explicit validation and recognition for the laborious and life-saving work they do. They also intend for it to educate those who aren't peer workers and to open a space to learn about the experiences of people who use drugs. 

Stimulant Safety: Getting Amped Up to Reduce Harms When Using Stimulants – NASTAD: This resource provides an overview of stimulants and aims to educate individuals and organizations that provide services to people who use methamphetamine and other stimulants. This resource offers education on the reasons people take stimulants, including the potential positive aspects to use and potential risks of use; how to minimize harm, reduce stigma around stimulants, and support peoples’ positive experiences. It discusses the intersection of stimulant use and sexual safety; tips for accessing supplies and materials to include in safer drug use kits for people who use stimulants; how to recognize the signs and symptoms of overamping and how to respond to save a life. Effective interventions for stimulant use, including promising new practices from the field, as well as, damaging myths and stigmas from other people who use drugs and from healthcare providers are also discussed.

Crackdown Podcast - Episode 39: Backlash: A brand-new episode of Crackdown Podcast is now available! Here's a brief description of the episode: "A right wing backlash against harm reduction and safe supply is brewing in Canada. Garth Mullins and Sam Fenn tell the story of how we got here — and what needs to be done to fight back."
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!
Ontario Drug Policy Research Network. (2023). Safer opioid supply: A rapid review of the evidence. Toronto, ON: Ontario Drug Policy Research Network.

  • As SOS programs have expanded in Canada, questions regarding their effectiveness and safety continue to arise.
  • Therefore, we conducted a rapid review of qualitative and quantitative peer-reviewed and grey literature publications that describe the clinical outcomes of SOS programs, as well as the perceptions of clients and providers involved in the provision of these programs.
  • In total, we identified and synthesized evidence from 20 publications.

Ledlie, S., et al. (2023). Assessing the impact of the slow-release oral morphine drug shortages in Ontario, Canada: A population-based time series analysis | International Journal of Drug Policy 

Rosic, T., et al. (2023). Trends in Rates of Opioid Agonist Treatment and Opioid-Related Deaths for Youths in Ontario, Canada, 2013-2021 | JAMA Open Network Substance Use and Addiction 

McAdam, E., et al. (2023). Decriminalization thresholds for drug possession: A multi-criteria policy analysis framework | International Journal of Drug Policy 

Xavier, C. G., et al. (2023). Association between toxic drug events and encephalopathy in British Columbia, Canada: a cross-sectional analysis | Substance Abuse Treatment, Prevention, and Policy 

Chatterton, C. N., & Handy, R. P. (2023). Fentanyl concentrations in ligated femoral blood in the presence and absence of NPS benzodiazepine drugs. A review of over 1250 benzo-dope / fentanyl toxicity cases in Alberta, Canada | Forensic Science International

Ziegler, B. R., et al. (2023). The ever-changing narrative: Supervised injection site policy making in Ontario, Canada | International Journal of Drug Policy 

Mitra, S., et al. (2023). Socioeconomic marginalization and risk of overdose in a community-recruited cohort of people who use drugs: A longitudinal analysis | International Journal of Drug Policy 

McKnight, C., et al. (2023). Understanding intentionality of fentanyl use and drug overdose risk: Findings from a mixed methods study of people who inject drugs in New York City | International Journal of Drug Policy 

Kenny, K. S., et al. (2023). Association of Illicit Fentanyl Use with Injection Risk Practices Among People who Inject Drugs | AIDS and Behavior 

Rioux, W., et al. (2023). Virtual overdose monitoring services and overdose prevention technologies: Opportunities, limitations, and future directions | International journal of Drug Policy 

Ali, F., et al. (2023). Identifying barriers and facilitators to COVID-19 vaccination uptake among People Who Use Drugs in Canada: a National Qualitative Study | Harm Reduction Journal 

Palis, H., & MacDonald, S. (2023). Incorporating prescription psychostimulants into the continuum of care for people with stimulant use disorder in Canada | Canadian Medical Association Journal 

Dertadian, G. C. (2023). Is non-medical use normal? Normalisation, medicalisation and pharmaceutical consumption | International Journal of Drug Policy 

Barker, B., et al. (2023). Opioid agonist therapy and mortality among First Nations and other residents with concurrent alcohol use disorder in British Columbia, Canada: A population-based cohort study | Drug and Alcohol Dependence 

Meyer, M., et al. (2023). Benzodiazepine use, quality of life and psychiatric symptom burden in oral and injectable opioid agonist treatment: a cross-sectional study | Addiction Science & Clinical Practice 

Powell, D., et al. (2023). Understanding the rise in overdose deaths involving opioids and non-opioid prescription drugs in the United States | International Journal of Drug Policy 

Michaud, L., & van der Meulen, E. (2023). “They’re Just Watching You All the Time”: The Surveillance Web of Prison Needle Exchange | Surveillance and Society 

Khatri, U. G., et al. (2023). “A Lack of Empathy:” A qualitative study of Black people seeking treatment for opioid use disorder | SSM Qualitative Research in Health 

Hulsey, J., et al. (2023). Stigmatizing imagery for substance use disorders: a qualitative exploration | Health & Justice 

Forchuk, C., et al. (2023). People with lived and living experience of methamphetamine use and admission to hospital: what harm reduction do they suggest needs to be addressed? | Health Promotion and Chronic Disease Prevention in Canada: Research, Policy and Practice 

Carver, H., et al. (2023). 'It’s not going to be a one size fits all': a qualitative exploration of the potential utility of three drug checking service models in Scotland | Harm Reduction Journal 

Cooke, A., et al. (2023). The intersection of drug use discrimination and racial discrimination in the management of chronic non-cancer pain in United States primary care safety-net clinics: Implications for healthcare system and clinic-level changes | Drug and Alcohol Dependence 

Molina, B. S. G., et al. (2023). Association Between Stimulant Treatment and Substance Use Through Adolescence Into Early Adulthood | JAMA Psychiatry 

Swartz, J. A., et al. (2023). Current attitudes toward drug checking services and a comparison of expected with actual drugs present in street drug samples collected from opioid users | Harm Reduction Journal

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, webinars and events, peer-reviewed articles, grey literature, and more!
The Center for Substance Use Training and Telementoring (C-STAT) at Be Well Texas invites you to join them for the Harm Reduction ECHO program happening on Thursday, August 3rd at 1pm ET for a special session on: “Wound Care in Harm Reduction Outreach: Beyond the Clinical.” Register now!
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!

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