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  • Past and Upcoming Events

  • December Meeting Themes

  • Featured Resources

  • Research Paper of the Month

  • Research

  • In the News

  • Updates and Upcoming Community Events

  • In Remembrance of Randy Roberts

  • Ways to Get Involved



  • On December 16th, 2021, the NSS-CoP hosted the webinar Prescriber Panel: Tensions in Safer Supply. CLICK HERE for access to video recordings and resources shared during the webinar.

Weekly 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 EST. Zoom Link

Upcoming Webinar Events:

  • LIHC's Safer Opioid Supply Evaluation Report Launch on January 20th, 2022 @ 12pm EST. This event is open to the public. Webinar Registration Link

  • Wound Care Session for Clinicians on January 31st, 2022 @ 10am EST. This is a members-only event uniquely designed for clinicians (MDs, NPs, RPNs, RNs). Another wound care workshop open to other groups will be announced soon! Webinar Registration Link


Meeting Minutes:

Meeting minutes can be found in the meeting notes and resources folder on the National Safer Supply Community of Practice
Google Drive.

December 2nd, 2021:

  • Limited number of prescribers
  • Prescribers struggling to know if Safer Supply is an accepted standard of care
  • Better medication options for participants

December 9th, 2021:

  • Practices around decreasing doses
  • Kadian allergies and alternatives
  • Client preferences: Kadian, Hydromorph Contin
  • Experiences with observed dosing vs dispensing Kadian
  • Crackdown Podcast: Episode 28 - After the Flood
    A new episode of the Crackdown Podcast is here! Here is a brief introduction to the episode: "2021 was a year of very ominous weather reports. There were unprecedented heat emergencies, wildfires, and Biblical floods. Meanwhile, COVID-19, income inequality, and the overdose crisis continued to become more and more grim. What would it feel like to endure all of this as a young person? What would it be like to try to build a life through the chaos? To find out, we asked Rainbow, a young woman in her 20s, to record big and small moments from her life for 40 days. This is Rainbow’s story."

  • Beyond Stigma: Treating Pain and Opioid Use Disorder
    This animated video was created to explore the impact of stigma on all aspects of treatment for people living with opioid use disorder. It was created in collaboration with academics, clinicians, and people with lived experience. This video was endorsed and disseminated widely to both national and international audiences.

  • COVID-19 Opioid Agonist Treatment Guidance – January 5, 2022 Update
    The "COVID-19 Opioid Agonist Treatment (OAT) Guidance" was created in March 2020 to help support ongoing access to OAT care when public health recommendations emphasized limiting non-essential in-person contacts in all settings in order to reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus. As of January 3rd, 2022, the Government of Ontario has announced time-limited measures to preserve hospital capacity in the face of the Omicron variant. While not as extensive as the initial lock-down implemented in 2020, these measures include closing or drastically reducing indoor gatherings and encouraging work from home whenever possible. In light of these measures and to support patients in being able to engage in public health precautions, it is recommended that clinicians once again consider utilizing the COVID-19 OAT Guidance as a framework for guiding decision-making around take-home doses, the necessity of in-person visits, and the use of virtual care.
  • Grieving Overdose Zine: Your Grief Matters and So Do You
    This is a zine about death, overdose, grief, and drugs. On August 31, 2021, the DOPE Project at the National Harm Reduction Coalition worked with artist Gaia Wxyz to create a single-page zine as an act of care for a community that experiences too much preventable loss. You can read the zine, print, and fold your own at home on 8.5″ by 11″ paper and distribute them to friends, family, program participants, and direct service workers in your community.

Ferguson, M., et al. 2022. Investigating opioid preference to inform safe supply services: A cross-sectional study | International Journal of Drug Policy

Background: The drug toxicity crisis continues to be a significant cause of death. Over 24,600 people died from opioid toxicity in Canada over the last 5 years. Safe supply programs are required now more than ever to address the high rate of drug toxicity overdose deaths caused by illicit fentanyl and its analogues. This study aims to identify opioid preferences and associated variables to inform further phases of safe supply program implementation.

Have a question that you’d like to ask? Email us: safersupplyon@gmail.com or send a message via Twitter, Instagram, Facebook.


We encourage NSS-CoP members to email safersupplyon@gmail.com 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.

  • The NSS-CoP website is LIVE! Visit us here to register! We urge current members who haven’t done so to re-register via our website. We are also on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook! Follow us for updates, news, and happenings in our community of practice!
  • PHO Rounds: Opioid-related Toxicity Deaths and Health Services Use During the COVID-19 Pandemic. The Ontario Drug Policy Research Network (ODPRN), The Office of the Chief Coroner for Ontario/Ontario Forensic Pathology Service, and Public Health Ontario (PHO) have completed a new report on patterns of health care utilization among people who experienced a fatal overdose in Ontario during the COVID-19 pandemic. This session will summarize the findings (up to the end of December 2020) from this analysis and discuss implications for planning and practice to reduce overdose and overdose risk. The first presenter will share an overview of the report findings, followed by two presenters that will discuss intervention gaps and opportunities to better support people who use drugs. Participants will have an opportunity to engage in a facilitated question and answer period to discuss findings and application to practices. January 18th, 2022 @ 12PM EST - REGISTER HERE
  • You are invited to attend an exciting speaker series presented by experts across the province throughout February and March 2022. The Building Enhanced Treatment Response (BETR) Initiative’s CME-approved educational sessions are designed to build enhanced treatment responses for HCV and HIV care. The goal is to establish a broader community of practice across Ontario. Physicians, nurse practitioners, nurses, therapists, system navigators, and harm reduction workers are encouraged to attend! Click HERE TO REGISTER. (*The first 80 registrants will receive a gift*)
  • The Canadian Aboriginal AIDS Network and the Dr. Peter Centre are holding a series of dialogues in each of the four directions. They invite Indigenous Women living with HIV and/or Hepatitis C to share perspectives and learnings on how the COVID-19 pandemic has had an impact on Gender Based Violence (GBV). Please join if you identify as: First Nation, Métis, Inuit; As a person living with HIV/AIDS (IPHA) and/or Hepatitis C (IPHC); Woman [inclusive of Trans-women, Two-Spirit, Femme/Feminine-identifying, Genderqueer or Non-binary, LGBTQ2S+].
    - January 26th, 2022 @2PM PST - REGISTER HERE
    - January 31st, 2022 @2PM MST - REGISTER HERE
    - February 3rd, 2022 @2PM EST - REGISTER HERE
    - February 9th, 2022 @ 2PM AST - REGISTER HERE
It is with the utmost devastation and greatest sadness that we say goodbye to one of our own: Randy Roberts. Randy passed late last week and left all of us who knew him with a big hole in our hearts and tears in our eyes. He was an amazing advocate and such a strong voice for People Who Use Drugs, advocating for change around the board but most of all, he wanted the deaths to stop!

Randy started the Brantford Substance User Network (BSUN) and did amazing things for his community and others around Ontario. He did work with Member’s of Parliament, Councillor’s, his Public Health Unit and his local HIV/AIDS Service Organization to ensure fair and equitable treatment of People Who Use Drugs in his region, advocating for better health outcomes for People Who Use Drugs, Harm Reduction, Safer Supply, more adequate services, increased numbers of community health centres and harm reduction services plus the Decriminalization of drug use.

Randy also worked with Public Health Ontario to help found The Ontario Network of People Who Use Drugs. This is where I met Randy and became his friend and colleague. We worked so hard to help people and Randy was the voice of reason. Me and Randy usually had the same perspective on issues, and I appreciated his comradery as well as his ability to side with everyone all at the same time. Any arguments or issues that arose because of the work would shortly be quelled by Randy’s words of wisdom and any pettiness was met with “C’mon guys, people are dying, and we don’t have time to waste” or “as we sit here wasting time people are dying” and it would bring our group back to reality and ground us in the reasons we started the work in the first place. Randy worked hard to make sure we got registered as a non-profit and got our website going, that way we could reach the most amount of people possible.

Randy was such a caring person and wanted to see everyone succeed. He worked with folks to get them housing, access to healthcare, appointments for OAT or Safer Supply, OW and ODSP, Harm Reduction Supplies and Services, clean clothes, things to keep people warm who were out in the cold, the list goes on and on. He ran a Needle Exchange out of his own house, so folks in his complex would have fresh tools and access to Naloxone. Randy did spot checks around his complex in order to help or save people who were experiencing drug poisonings or overdoses. Randy would stay up all night helping people - I would call him when I needed someone to virtually spot me in the middle of the night and I wish I was there for him when he needed it.

Randy’s death is going to leave a big gaping hole in services for the folks he served in his community, and region. His advocacy spanned Ontario and impacted all of Canada. We have lost one of our loudest soldiers and for all the lives he has touched over the many years he has done this work; I can’t begin to do his efforts' justice here. His loving, caring, empathetic nature will be dearly missed by all and remembered as we push forward and do the work to make the change he wanted to see happen. He was tenacious and full of energy and love and will be sadly missed each time we meet without him or think about him, but he would have wanted us to use this to push harder and make more of an impact on this world as People Who Use Drugs!

One of our last meetings with Randy included a discussion about a memorial page for our website, but we never thought "Randy Roberts" would be our first name on that list and that’s what hurts the most for me. Conversations about death that seemed so far removed from us in that moment, now seem too eerie. Randy was such a beacon of hope and change and wanted nothing more than to see People Who Use Drugs succeed in our goals, hopes, and dreams.

As I finish off, I want to leave us all with a quote from an article that Randy pulled out to post on his Facebook page - his final post. It shows where his head was at in his final days and gives us a look into his mindset and why he did the work he did. It reads: "Just as we do for the COVID-19 public-health emergency, we should all be doing everything in our power, for as long as it takes, to reduce drug-poisoning deaths until they are no longer a daily threat to the lives of people who use drugs." - The Globe and Mail.

To another one lost way too soon to failed policy, stigma, and the inadequacies we face in healthcare and social services. We love and respect you Randy for all you have done for us and our communities, you will be sorely missed by the entire Drug User and Allied communities and your loss will be felt throughout the country, but we will finish what you started, and your work will NOT be done in vain, it will carry on just as your name will, as we take your memory with us throughout our own journeys into making change. I love and miss you, forever and always Randy!!!!
With Love and Light,
Ashley Smoke

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!

(519) 660-0875 ext. 1264

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