• Past and Upcoming Events

  • Membership Feedback Survey

  • August Meeting Themes

  • Working Group Updates

  • Featured Resources

  • Research Paper of the Month

  • Research

  • In the News

  • Community Updates and Events

  • Ways to Get Involved



On Thursday, August 25th, the NSS-CoP hosted a webinar panel discussion titled "Harm Reduction, Safer Supply & Experiences of Pre- and Peri-Natal Care". The webinar featured presentations and a Q&A on pre- and peri-natal programs and issues in and adjacent to harm reduction and/or safer supply. A big thank you to our moderated Keri Guelke (Parents Advocating Collectively for Kin, BC) and to our presenters: Julene Rawson (Prairie Harm Reduction, Saskatchewan), Jenna Bly (South Riverdale CHC, Ontario), and Hawkfeather Peterson (Parents Advocating Collectively for Kin, BC). A moderated Q & A session followed the discussion. Find the webinar recording and resources shared here.


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 EDT. Zoom Link

Upcoming Webinar Events:

Join us on Thursday, September 29th, 2022 for a panel discussion focusing on safer supply programs and initiatives in Quebec. This discussion will cover the successes, challenges, and barriers of safer supply programs and initiatives in Quebec. Panelists include prescribers, people who use drugs, harm reduction workers, and activists. Please note: The panel will take place in French, with accompanying English simultaneous oral translation and closed captioning provided.

Moderated by Alexandra de Kiewit (Le Dispensaire, CAPUD), the following people will join us as panelists:

  • Dr. Marie-Ève Goyer, Physician and Scientific Director, Équipe de soutien clinique et organisationnel en dépendance et itinérance
  • Marie-Christine Grégoire, Social Worker and Coordinator, Services bas seuil Relais
  • Jérôme Benedetti, External Consultant, Équipe de soutien clinique et organisationnel en dépendance et itinérance
  • Isabelle Fortier, Quebec Representative, Moms Stop the Harm
  • Simon Vermette, Harm Reduction Worker, L’Interzone and La Coopérative de solidarité SABSA

A moderated Q & A session will follow the discussion. Audience members are encouraged to submit their questions in the Q & A box. This is a public event. Register now!

In collaboration with the team at Transform Practice, we have now started an evaluation of the NSS-CoP and all the work that has been done since its creation! As part of this evaluation process, we're asking all NSS-CoP members to please take the time to fill out our membership feedback survey! We want to hear from you about what we are doing well, what hasn’t worked well, and what ideas you have for us. This survey has 18 questions (12 multiple choice and 6 open-ended) and will take approximately 5-10 minutes to complete. The survey is anonymous. We do not collect your name or email address. Thank you in advance for participating and offering your feedback to help us grow as a community of practice, it is greatly valued!

English and French NSS-CoP 2021-22 Membership Feedback Survey

Meeting Minutes:

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

August 4th, 2022

  • Program sustainability and funding
  • Burnout within the harm reduction community
  • The Forgotten 519

August 11th, 2022

  • Downward trend of overdoses in certain regions and possible reasons

August 18th, 2022

  • Guidelines on administering naloxone in different contexts
  • Thursday drop-in informal presentation by First Nations Health Authority (FNHA)
  • Toronto Drug Checking Service Report

Advisory Council

  • Purpose: Provide direction and feedback to the NSS-CoP Team.
  • Current activities: Advising on evaluation and internal policies.
  • Membership: Currently seeking representation from - RN/NPs, physicians, members of BIPOC communities and agencies providing services to BIPOC communities. No paid positions available at this time. Email Rebecca to join:
  • Next meeting date: Wednesday, September 28th at 2pm EDT.
Action for Safer Supply - People Who Use Drugs Working Group
  • Purpose: As a working group composed exclusively of people who use drugs (PWUD), Action for Safer Supply advocates for expanded access to safer supply for PWUD across the country.
  • Current activities: Developing and revising a National Advocacy Toolkit on Safer Supply, OAT, and Harm Reduction. The working group is also working on an anti-stigma and anti-shame campaign #NoShameNovember, to be launched in November 2022.
  • Membership: No paid positions available at this time. Currently taking names for the waitlist. Email Alexandra to be added to the waitlist:
  • Next meeting date: Friday, September 16th, 2022 at 1:30pm EDT.
Recommendations for Clinical Guidance Working Group
  • Purpose: Using evidence, existing guidelines, and lived experience, create recommendations for guidance to support safer supply prescribing.
  • Current activities: 2 subgroups - take home doses, urine drug screens. Creating a survey for prescribers to gather information about current practices and perspectives.
  • Membership: Currently seeking clinician members (pharmacy, physicians, RNs, NPs, etc.). Email Rebecca to join: No paid positions at this time.
  • Next meeting date: Monday, September 19th at 3pm EDT.
Access to Pharmaceuticals Working Group
  • Purpose: Clarifying what pharmaceuticals are available in the various regions across Canada, producing a list of what pharmaceuticals should ideally be available for safer supply, and describing how the current system of pharmaceutical approvals works.
  • Current activities: Creating a list of what pharmaceuticals are currently available (and what is covered) where and creating a list of what is not available and the reasons why.
  • Membership: Currently seeking clinician members (pharmacy, physicians, RNs, NPs, etc.). Email Robyn to join: No paid positions available at this time.
  • Next meeting date: Wednesday, September 21st at 1pm EDT.
Program Operations Meeting
  • Purpose: Connect program administrators/coordinators/managers/service providers to discuss program operations, identify successes and challenges, share information and resources, and provide support.
  • Current activities: Support for new program development, share resources.
  • Membership: All program operations folks welcome. Email Rebecca for meeting link: No paid positions available.
  • Next meeting date: Friday, September 16th at 2pm EDT.
Pharmacy Working Group
  • Purpose: Connect pharmacy staff to share information about safer supply from a pharmacy perspective. Share experiences and resources, and identify gaps, needs, and areas for advocacy.
  • Current activities: Identifying resources, gaps, needs, areas for advocacy; sharing resources and experiences.
  • Membership: Open to all pharmacy team members. Email Rebecca for meeting link:
  • Next meeting date: TBD (October 2022). 
Clinicians: Are you interested in having a monthly or bi-monthly meeting? Email Rebecca to let us know!
NSS-CoP Resource Library: Did you know we have a resource library with OVER 700 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!

Toolkit: Knowing How to Recognize and Respond to a Severe Intoxication or Overdose Related to Psychoactive Substance Use or Alcohol Withdrawal: The Équipe de soutien clinique et organisationnel en dépendance et itinérance has published a new toolkit! This toolkit is intended for frontline service providers who work with people who use psychoactive substances, who may or may not be specialized in the field of substance use, and who work in isolation wards, housing services for those who are homeless or street-involved, managed alcohol programs (wet services), drop-in services, emergency shelters and all other services that are frequented by people who use psychoactive substances. The toolkit includes infosheets that provide information on severe intoxications, overdoses and severe withdrawal (of alcohol only), the main signs and symptoms that can help us to recognize these states, and the actions to implement in order to prevent or to respond to them when they occur.

Community Urinalysis and Self-Report Project: Cross-Canada Report on the Use of Drugs from the Unregulated Supply, 2019-2021 Data - Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction: Presents substance use trends and describes whether expected substance use matched actual substance contents. Data were collected from harm reduction sites in seven regions across Canada that participated in the Community Urinalysis and Self-Report Project between 2019 and 2021.

A Guideline and Policy Recommendations for STBBI Testing and Linkage to Care in British Columbia Provincial Correctional Settings: This is a new publication by the "You Matter Project: Pathways to Care for STBBIs". This document contains policy recommendations and guidelines for the testing and linkage to care for STBBIs in provincial correctional centres in British Columbia in order to improve equitable access and uptake of non-stigmatizing STBBI testing and care.

Questions and Answers for Pharmacies - Policy for Methadone Maintenance Treatment (MMT) Reimbursement under the Ontario Drug Benefit Program: Changes to Methadose formulations funded in Ontario came into effect on August 31st. Review the Methadone Maintenance Treatment Reimbursement 2022 Policy updates here and find more information.

Ontario Opioid Indicator Tool - Ontario Drug Policy Research Network: The Ontario Opioid Indicator Tool provides public access to indicators of opioid use, opioid-related harms, and access to treatment and harm reduction in the province from 2012 onwards using data housed at ICES. Since the ODPRN’s initial launch of this tool in 2018, the landscape of the overdose crisis in Ontario has shifted, with an increasing recognition that the majority of opioid-related harms have been associated with the unregulated opioid supply, which is predominantly made up of fentanyl. To better meet the needs of the current crisis, the tool has been updated with new indicators which have an increased focus on opioids used for the treatment of opioid use disorder, as well as complications arising from opioid-related harms not reported elsewhere. This tool is designed to complement Public Health Ontario’s interactive tool on opioid-related morbidity and mortality in Ontario which includes similarly presented indicators of opioid-related emergency department visits, hospitalizations, and deaths.

Illicit Drug Toxicity Deaths in BC January 1, 2012 – June 30, 2022 - BC Coroners Service: This report summarizes all unintentional illicit drug toxicity deaths in British Columbia (accidental and undetermined) that occurred between January 1, 2012, and June 30, 2022, inclusive. It includes confirmed and suspected illicit toxicity deaths.

Illicit Drug Toxicity Type of Drug Data - Data to June 30, 2022 - BC Coroners Service: This report is a companion report to the Illicit Drug Toxicity report to summarize the drugs detected among suspected illicit drug toxicity deaths. In the majority of deaths, fentanyl or its analogues, whether alone or in combination with other drugs, was detected.

Kímmapiiyipitssini: The Meaning of Empathy: A portrait of a community facing radical change, Kímmapiiyipitssini: The Meaning of Empathy brings humanity and compassion to the substance-use crisis and drug-poisoning epidemic on the Kainai First Nation in southern Alberta. Blackfoot and Sámi filmmaker Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers welcomes viewers to witness the collective work of her community, holding these stories in love and hope for the future.

Where To?: This new online directory is for people looking for HIV, hepatitis C, sexual health or harm reduction services in Canada, with additional resources to support their journey to health and wellness. The website allows you to search for services by location or by type of service. CATIE operates and maintains this website. Service providers can also register their own organization. An administrator will review your listing before it gets published.

Gehring, N. D., et al. (2022). Policy actor views on structural vulnerability in harm reduction and policymaking for illegal drugs: A qualitative study | International Journal of Drug Policy 


  • The central role of structural vulnerability (including poverty, unstable/lack of housing, racialization) in driving harm for people who use drugs (PWUD) was acknowledged by participants in all provinces and territories.
  • Criminalization, in particular, was seen as a major contributor to structural vulnerability by justifying formal and informal sanctions against drug use and, by extension, PWUD.
  • Structural vulnerability is salient within Canadian policy actors’ discourses; however, formal government policies are seen as falling short of addressing the structural conditions of PWUD.
  • Decriminalization and safer supply have the potential to mitigate immediate structural vulnerability of PWUD while policies evolve to advance social, economic, and cultural equity.

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.

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):
August 31st is International Overdose Awareness Day (IOAD). IOAD is the world’s largest annual campaign to end drug poisoning overdose death, to remember without stigma those who have died, and to acknowledge the grief of the family and friends left behind. This year, events were held across the country and around the world to honour those we love and have lost. To acknowledge and honour this day, the NSS-CoP released a statement of solidarity - Read it in full here.

As a follow-up to last month’s webinar on Integrating Hepatitis C Care with Safer Supply, CATIE is offering FREE HCV training opportunities customized for NSS-CoP members. There are two trainings, one for clinicians, and a non-clinical training that is open to all members. All NSS-CoP members are welcome to take part, but space is limited! See below, and the two course flyers for more details. Please contact Christopher Hoy ( if you have questions about either training.

1) Training for clinicians to begin testing and prescribing: Hepatitis C in primary care and drug and alcohol settings. September 15 from 5pm-8pm EDT - REGISTER and save the date. This is a two-part course delivered by ASHM and INHSU. It consists of a self-directed, online learning component, and then a 3-hour workshop on September 15. Participants will gain skills to test and diagnose hepatitis C, and prescribe and oversee treatment. This training is intended for clinical providers who want to begin leading hepatitis C care and is certified by the College of Family Physicians of Canada. See the flyer from ASHM and INHSU for more details!

2) Non-clinical training for providers to support hepatitis C prevention and people on treatment: Hepatitis C Treatment course. September 19 (online course start), October 11 from 1-2:30pm EDT (online workshop) - REGISTER and save the date. This is a two-part course delivered by CATIE. It consists of a facilitated online course, with weekly modules (roughly 1 hour per week), and then a 2-hour online meeting on October 11. Participants will learn foundational knowledge to answer questions about hepatitis C treatment and strategies to support clients before, during and after treatment. This course is intended for providers to deliver client education or support people who are completing hepatitis C treatment. A certificate of completion will be provided. See the flyer from CATIE for more details!

Registration for the 2022 Manitoba Harm Reduction Conference is now OPEN! In collaboration with Ka Ni Kanichihk and the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority, the Manitoba Harm Reduction Network (MHRN) is hosting the 2022 Manitoba Harm Reduction Conference in Winnipeg from November 15th to 17th. This conference is a three-day event that will feature speakers from throughout Manitoba, Canada, and the United States as they share on a variety of topics related to harm reduction and sexual health. With a strong focus on Indigenous knowledge, anti-oppression, and root causes of harms related to substance use, MHRN aims to inspire conference participants to improve access to harm reduction services throughout Manitoba especially in rural, remote, northern, and Indigenous communities. Click here for more information and to register.

BC ECHO on Substance Use Project Webinar: Buprenorphine/Naloxone Induction Approaches with Dr. Leslie Lappalainen on Thursday, October 27th from 12-1pm PDT | 3-4pm EDT. By the end of this BC ECHO on Substance Use session, participants will be able to: 1) describe the pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics of buprenorphine/naloxone, 2) use the clinical opioid withdrawal scale (COWS) and subjective opiate withdrawal scale (SOWS) to assess opioid withdrawal, 3) describe when micro-dosing inductions and traditional inductions are most appropriate, and 4) describe how to conduct a buprenorphine/naloxone induction. REGISTER here.

Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Fall 2022 Courses - Canadian Association of Mental Health: Registration is now open for CAMH Fall 2022 online courses. Courses include: Addressing cannabis use in primary care - September 12 - December 21, 2022, Buprenorphine Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder -September 12 - December 21, 2022, Fundamental of Addiction Online Course - October 3 - November 27, 2022, Managing Alcohol use Problems - September 12 - October 17, 2022; November 7 - December 12, 2022, Opioid Use Disorder Treatment (OUDT) - September 12 - December 21, 2022, and more.

Survey: CRISM National OUD Guidelines: The Quebec-Atlantic node of the Canadian Research Initiative in Substance Misuse (CRISM) is currently conducting a survey to update the National Guideline for the Clinical Management of Opioid Use Disorder. Revisions will include the end of the section 56 exemption to prescribe methadone and post-COVID clinical changes. You can contribute by replying to this survey. If you have questions, please contact Noémie Harriet and Katuschia Germe.

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!

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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