• Past and Upcoming Events

  • Featured Resources

  • Research Paper of the Month

  • Research

  • Community Updates and Events

  • In the News

  • Ways to Get Involved



On Thursday, September 29th, the NSS-CoP hosted a webinar panel discussion on Safer Supply in Quebec. The discussion covered the successes, challenges, and barriers of safer supply programs and initiatives. A warm thank you to our collaborators - Équipe de soutien clinique et organisationnel en dépendance et itinérance, Services bas seuil Relais, Association Québécoise pour la promotion de la santé des personnes utilisatrices de drogues (AQPSUD), Moms Stop the Harm, La Coopérative de solidarité SABSA, and L’Interzone. We also extend our thanks to our incredible moderator and panelists:
  • Alexandra Holtom, Knowledge Mobilization Specialist, Canadian Association of People Who Use Drugs, National Safer Supply Community of Practice
  • 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, La Coopérative de solidarité SABSA and L’Interzone
  • Vincent de Maisonneuve, Project Lead, Association Québécoise pour la promotion de la santé des personnes utilisatrices de drogues (AQPSUD)
A moderated Q & A session followed their discussion. The webinar recording and resources shared will be posted in the coming days!


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. In September, we had Michelle from River Stone Recovery Centre talk about Nurse Led HCV care and Efe from St. John's Ambulance discussing the new Accidental Drug Poisoning Crisis Community of Practice. This month, we will have presentations by Black CAP: TO2AN Harm Reduction (October 6th) and the Cape Breton Association of People Empowering Drug Users (October 13th and 20th). 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 September included:
  • International Overdose Awareness Day
  • Addition of generic methadone to the Ontario Drug Benefit formulary
  • Methadose prices equivalent to its generic brand
  • Growing waitlists and how long to hold space
  • Mobile teams and how they approach folks
  • Working around non-frequent appointment attendance and negative urine tests
  • Reframing diversion practices and documentation
Full meeting minutes can be found in the meeting notes and resources folder on our Google Drive.

Starting a new program? Join us on Fridays from 2 to 4pm EDT to meet with others involved in safer supply program operations. We will learn from each other, share resources, ask questions, work through problems, and celebrate successes!

Want to learn more about our different working groups? Come check out what we've been up to!

Upcoming Webinar Events:

Join us on Monday, October 3rd at 4pm EDT for our inaugural Research Spotlight Webinar series. Our first session will include a presentation and discussion of the recent paper published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal: “Clinical outcomes and healthcare costs among people entering a safer opioid supply program in Ontario: a comparative time series analysis”. Our speakers include Dr. Gillian Kolla (Canadian Institute for Substance Use Research, UVic), Dr. Tara Gomes (Unity Health Toronto), and Ashley Smoke (Ontario Network of People Who Use Drugs, Women & HIV/AIDS Initiative). 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!

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!

Over-Medicalization: A Facilitated Discussion with Corey Ranger & Karen Ward - Harm Reduction Nurses Association: This is a recording of a facilitated conversation that discusses the harms associated with the medical co-option of harm reduction. Panellists Corey and Karen share what nurses need to know about the toxic drug poisoning emergency and how they can be effective advocates from the nursing perspective while avoiding performative allyship.

META:PHI - Generic Methadone Information Sheets: META:PHI recently undertook a very quick consultation process with community advisors to create two communication documents, intended for health care providers and for people on methadone. These documents reflect what they heard from health care providers (pharmacists, physicians, nurses, and nurse practitioners) and from people on/with experience of methadone about the important messages to be communicated. While both documents can be used by anyone, this information sheet is designed for people on methadone and this information sheet is designed for health care providers.

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.

Experiences of Harm Reduction Service Providers During Dual Public Health Emergencies in Canada - Canadian Centre on Substance Use and AddictionThis report examines the benefits and challenges harm reduction workers across Canada are facing as they continue to deal with the concurrent opioid-related toxicity emergency and COVID-19 pandemic.

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.

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.

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.

Gomes, T., Kolla, G., McCormack, D., Sereda, A., Kitchen, S., & Antoniou, T. (2022). Clinical outcomes and health care costs among people entering a safer opioid supply program in OntarioCanadian Medical Association Journal


  • Background: London InterCommunity Health Centre (LIHC) launched a safer opioid supply (SOS) program in 2016, where clients are prescribed pharmaceutical opioids and provided with comprehensive health and social supports. We sought to evaluate the impact of this program on health services utilization and health care costs. 
  • Methods: We conducted an interrupted time series analysis of London, Ontario, residents who received a diagnosis of opioid use disorder (OUD) and who entered the SOS program between January 2016 and March 2019, and a comparison group of individuals matched on demographic and clinical characteristics who were not exposed to the program. 
  • Results: In the time series analysis, rates of ED visits (−14 visits/100, 95% confidence interval [CI] −26 to −2; p = 0.02), hospital admissions (−5 admissions/100, 95% CI −9 to −2; p = 0.005) and health care costs not related to primary care or outpatient medications (−$922/person, 95% CI −$1577 to −$268; p = 0.008) declined significantly after entry into the SOS program (n = 82), with no significant change in rates of infections (−1.6 infections/100, 95% CI −4.0 to 0.8; p = 0.2). 
  • Interpretation: Although additional research is needed, this preliminary evidence indicates that SOS programs can play an important role in the expansion of treatment and harm-reduction options available to assist people who use drugs and who are at high risk of drug poisoning.

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.


Saving Our Own Lives - A Liberatory Practice of Harm Reduction: Join this exciting conversation hosted by Haymarket Books on Wednesday, October 5th at 6:30pm EDT. The conversation will be about liberatory harm reduction, featuring Shira Hassan and other organizers, and about her new book, Saving Our Own Lives. Register now!

Sudden Silence - Hidden Voices: This project is an adaptation of a photo voice project funded through a Vancouver Community Action Grant. The purpose of this project is to highlight the tragedy of the overdose crisis and introduce some of those who have been lost. Their loss is most keenly felt through their loved ones. Their grief cannot be described in words and is their constant companion. This project also focuses on the impact of the stigma for using drugs and of how safe supply might have made a difference.

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 now!
Primary Care of Ontario Research and Learning (POPLAR): Attention primary care clinicians working in Fee-for-Service (FFS) models in Ontario! The Primary Care of Ontario Research and Learning (POPLAR) network is looking for guidance as we expand our outreach to FFS practitioners. We know it’s especially challenging for busy clinicians, especially those working without the support of an interprofessional team, to find time for networking, research, and knowledge-sharing. We also know that some feel reluctant to share their practice-based data with larger networks. We’d love to hear from you about what barriers you or your colleagues may be experiencing and what value you would need to get from a learning and research network in order to make participation worthwhile. Read more about POPLAR here. For more information or to share your ideas, please contact or

CRISM is seeking public input on a draft of Canadian Take-Home Naloxone Guidance through two channels:  

1) Online Survey: An online survey that is open to anyone living in Canada. This link leads you to a survey with a PDF of the report. Anyone who completes the survey has the option of entering a draw to win one of two $100 visa cards.  

2) Consultation Sessions: Consultation sessions are open to anyone with lived or living experience of using drugs and/or experience responding to overdose in the community. The consultation sessions last 90 minutes where we explain our process and conclusions and ask whether there is information that we might not have considered, whether those recommendations would work in their context, and whether there are any barriers that folks might encounter. There is a $50 honorarium for participation. Contact if interested.

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!

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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