• Past and Upcoming Meetings and Events

  • Prescriber Consultation Service

  • Featured Resources

  • Research Paper of the Month

  • Research

  • Community Updates and Events

  • In the News

  • Ways to Get Involved


On December 5th, we hosted our final webinar of 2023: Safer Supply Takes a Village: Findings from the Kitchener-Waterloo Program Evaluation. This webinar presented findings from the evaluation of the Kitchener-Waterloo Safer Supply Program, which is uniquely embedded within the Inner City Health Alliance, a collaboration by several agencies that provides intensive place-based and mobile primary health care, housing, shelter, and social connections using a caring, person-centred, and evidence-informed approach. Due to the richness of the results, the team produced two evaluation reports. The first report covers the program outcomes, and the second report covers the model of care. The presentation offers lessons in maximizing clinical and service provider networks to provide safer supply, particularly for those in smaller communities.


  • Dr. Gillian Kolla
  • Kourteney King
  • Dr. Adrian Guta
  • Melissa Perri

A Q & A session followed the presentation. Click here for the recording, full reports, as well as all 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

You can sign up to present about the work you are doing during one of our future weekly Thursday drop-in meetings 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, December 6th 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!

Join us on Monday, January 22nd at 12pm PT | 3pm ET for our first Research Spotlight Webinar of 2024: Safer Supply Ottawa Evaluation: Fall 2023 Report. This presentation will provide an overview of the Safer Supply Ottawa program, as well as the results of a research project conducted in summer/fall 2023. The project focused on program participants who are frequently "restarted" on their Safer Supply program. Program restarts included participants who have stopped and subsequently restarted their Safer Supply program one or more times in the last year. This topic was selected to better understand the barriers faced by Safer Supply participants when engaging in their program, including barriers which result in these program interruptions.

Presenters (all from the University of Ottawa, School of Nursing):

  • Marlene Haines, RN PhD(c), Research Associate
  • Emily Hill, Peer Consultant
  • Siobhan Kerwin, RN BSc, Research Assistant
  • Athena Tefoglou, RN, Research Associate
  • Patrick O'Byrne, NP PhD, Full Professor
This is a public webinar and everyone is welcome to attend! A short Q & A will follow the presentation. Closed captioning will be provided in English. Register now!

Join us on Thursday, February 1st at 12pm MT | 2pm ET for our first Hot Topic Webinar of 2024The Ban on Safe Supply: An Alberta Case Study. In October 2022, Alberta underwent changes to their prescribing regulations, and safer supply was effectively banned in the province. These changes restrict prescribing to a small number of clinics and require witnessed dosing.  These clinics were renamed Narcotic Transition Services. This case study aims to explore the implications of these prescribing regulation changes. It will examine the framing used to construct narratives about safer supply and the individuals who accessed these medications. Additionally, the webinar will discuss the outcomes following the ban of safer supply in Alberta.


  • Kate Colizza
  • Patty Wilson

This is a public webinar and everyone is welcome to attend! A short Q & A will follow the presentation. Closed captioning will be provided in English. Register now!

The NSS-CoP’s Ashley Smoke is featured in a 4-part webinar series hosted by Anishinabek Nation on Indigenous Harm Reduction. It’s called Maamwi Gka-Wiiji-Nokiimdimi (Working together for each other). Click here for more information from Anishinabek Nation and to register.

*Please only register for one session, you will be provided the zoom link for each session*

Register for this groundbreaking webinar series that delves into crucial mental health and substance use issues within Anishinabek Nation communities in Ontario. This series offers a unique perspective, centering on Indigenous perspectives and approaches towards addressing these challenges.

Themes Covered:
  • Mental Health & Substance Use: Exploring the intersectionality of mental health and substance use within Indigenous communities, highlighting culturally sensitive approaches to healing and support.
  • Harm Reduction & Safer Supply: Understanding the principles of harm reduction and advocating for safer supply initiatives tailored to the specific needs of First Nations individuals.
  • Lived Experience & Storytelling: Elevating the voices and experiences of community members who have battled mental health issues, substance use, or have supported loved ones through these challenges.
  • Opioid Crisis & Indigenous Communities: Unpacking the impact of the opioid crisis on Indigenous populations and discussing strategies for prevention, intervention, and support.
Who Should Attend:

This series is designed for community leaders, healthcare professionals, educators, and anyone interested in promoting mental wellness and supporting people who drugs in Indigenous communities.

Why Attend:

Gain invaluable insights, learn from experts and lived experiences, and contribute to the collective effort of fostering healthier, more supportive environments within Anishinabek Nation communities.

Join us on this journey towards understanding, support, and healing, as we work together to address mental health and substance use through an Indigenous lens in Ontario.

The webinar series will begin January 10th, 2024 and run bi-weekly until February 21st, 2024.
  • January 10: Indigenous Harm Reduction
  • January 24: Why, When and for who are drugs a problem?
  • February 7: How do we support people who use drugs & community?
  • February 21: What happens next?
Draw prizes each session and one large prize if you attend all four sessions!

Click here for more information from Anishinabek Nation and to register.

Are you a doctor or nurse practitioner who works with people who use drugs?

  • Want to learn more about safer supply and how you can best support the people you work with?
  • Want access to an exclusive prescriber consultation service?

Help us scale up safer supply programs across Canada! Register for the consultation service, and you'll have email access to our physician consultant and our pharmacist consultant. You do not need to be an NSS-CoP member to access this service, but you do need to be a doctor or nurse practitioner.

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!
Decriminalization and Harm Reduction in African Caribbean and Black Communities: Getting To Tomorrow Dialogue - Canadian Drug Policy Coalition: On May 10th and May 17th 2022, approximately 70 people gathered to participate in a virtual dialogue focused on how current drug policies impact African, Caribbean, and Black (ACB) communities. Participants discussed their experiences and perceptions of decriminalization and harm reduction policies and practices as they relate to racialized communities. This dialogue was hosted by Canadian Association of People who Use Drugs (CAPUD), Black Coalition for AIDS Prevention, Toronto Harm Reduction Alliance, Zero Gun Violence Movement, DevelopMe Youth Centre, and Canadian Drug Policy Coalition (CDPC). During the dialogue, participants raised several key barriers to public health such as racism, systemic prejudice, social and structural stigma, lack of access to public resources, police profiling, lack of awareness and education campaigns on the realities of drug use, and more. A wide array of participants took part in the conversation, including People with Lived and Living Expertise (PWLLE), harm reduction workers, social workers, first responders and health care providers. This report highlights the perspectives and views participants shared and highlights five recommendations for action that emerged through the dialogue. Download it here.

More Than 130 Experts in Substance Use Call on Federal Government to Continue to Support and Scale-Up Safer Supply Programs: As funding for 21 currently operating safer supply programs across Canada is set to end in March 2024, 131 Canadian experts in substance use – including researchers, front-line physicians and nurse practitioners working directly with people who use drugs at high risk of overdose – are calling on federal, provincial and territorial governments to ensure stable funding for currently operating safer supply programs. Highlighting the need for scale-up of safer supply programs in areas of highest need, they are also calling for support for comprehensive research and evaluation of these programs, and collaboration with people who use drugs to deliver a regulated drug supply. Read more here.

Evaluation of Harm Reduction Approaches to Address the Opioid Crisis in the Context of COVID-19 — Safer Supply Evaluation - Midpoint Knowledge Exchange Forum: What We Heard Report: On May 10, 2023, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) hosted a virtual midpoint knowledge exchange forum for an evaluation project funded through the Operating Grant: Evaluation of Harm Reduction Approaches to Address the Opioid Crisis in the Context of COVID-19 funding opportunity. This research project is evaluating Safer Supply Pilot Projects supported by Health Canada through their Substance Use and Addictions Funding Program (SUAP). This report comprises a synthesis of progress and current findings presented by the research team and a summary of knowledge user and audience perspectives shared during a panel reflections and discussion session. Download it here.

Initiation of opioid agonist therapy after hospital visits for non-fatal opioid poisonings in Ontario - ODPRN: This study examined trends in OAT initiation rates for patients presenting to the ED or admitted to hospital with acute opioid toxicity, and to determine if revised clinical guidelines were associated with increased access to OAT. Read it here.

Non-Fatal Overdose Incidents in Federal Custody - 2020-2021: As part of ongoing monitoring efforts, the current study provides an overview of non-fatal overdose incidents that occurred in a federal institution in 2020-2021, which corresponded with the first full Fiscal Year associated with COVID-19 pandemic in Canada. Read it here.
NSS-CoP Resource Library: Did you know we have a resource library with OVER 1,500 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!
Young, S., et al. (2023). Initiations of safer supply hydromorphone increased during the COVID-19 pandemic in Ontario: An interrupted time series analysis | PLOS ONE

  • Calls to prescribe safer supply hydromorphone (SSHM) as an alternative to the toxic drug supply increased during the COVID-19 pandemic but it is unknown whether prescribing behaviour was altered.
  • We aimed to evaluate how the number of new SSHM dispensations changed during the pandemic in Ontario.
  • We conducted a retrospective interrupted time-series analysis using provincial administrative databases. 
  • We estimated 511 (95CI 327–695) new dispensations would not have occurred without the pandemic.
  • The pandemic led to an abrupt increase in SSHM prescribing in Ontario, although the rate of increase was similar before and during the pandemic.
  • The absolute number of individuals who accessed SSHM remained low throughout the pandemic.
Palis, H., et al. (2024). Factors associated with obtaining prescribed safer supply among people accessing harm reduction services: findings from a cross-sectional survey | Harm Reduction Journal
Nafeh, F., et al. (2023). Preliminary Assessment of Short-Term Social and Substance Use-Related Outcomes Among Clients of Integrated Safer Opioid Supply Pilot Programs in Toronto, Canada | International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction
Karamouzian, M., et al. (2024). Longitudinal polysubstance use patterns and non-fatal overdose: A repeated measures latent class analysis | International Journal of Drug Policy
Dobischok, S., et al. (2023). “It feels like I’m coming to a friend’s house”: an interpretive descriptive study of an integrated care site offering iOAT (Dr. Peter Centre) | Addiction Science & Clinical Practice
Wilson, P., et al. (2023). Benzodiazepine Withdrawal in the Context of Benzodiazepine-Contaminated Opioids: Practice Implications | Journal for Nurse Practitioners
Fischer, B., et al. (2023). The marked oscillatory pattern in prescription opioid utilization in Canada since 2000: Selected observations and questions for outcomes and policy | Pharmacoepidemiology & Drug Safety
Lundstrom, E. W., et al. (2024). Comparing the effects of decreasing prescription opioid shipments and the release of an abuse deterrent OxyContin formulation on opioid overdose fatalities in WV: an interrupted time series study | Substance Abuse Treatment, Prevention, and Policy
Tobias, S., et al. (2024). Motivators of and barriers to drug checking engagement in British Columbia, Canada: Findings from a cross-sectional study | International Journal of Drug Policy
Ireland, L., et al. (2024). Drug transactions and the dark web: Public perceptions of the locational setting of offenders and support for drug policy outcomes | International Journal of Drug Policy
Michener, P. S., et al. (2024). Association of random and observed urine drug screening with long-term retention in opioid treatment programs | Drug and Alcohol Dependence
Hu, T., et al. (2023). Initiation of opioid agonist therapy after hospital visits for opioid poisonings in Ontario | Canadian Medical Association Journal
Greenwald, M. K., et al. (2023). Examining the benefit of a higher maintenance dose of extended-release buprenorphine in opioid-injecting participants treated for opioid use disorder | Harm Reduction Journal
Rajab, D., et al. (2023). Emergency department care experiences among people who use substances: a qualitative study | International Journal for Equity in Health
Ezell, J. M., et al. (2023). A social history of opioids’ crimedical cycle | Addiction Research & Theory
Hayes, K. L., et al. (2023). Assessment of two brands of fentanyl test strips with 251 synthetic opioids reveals “blind spots” in detection capabilities | Harm Reduction Journal
Johnston, J. B., et al. (2023). The name and frame matters when it comes to public support of opioid prevention programs | International Journal of Drug Policy
Bharat, C., et al. (2023). Prescription opioid use among people with opioid dependence and concurrent benzodiazepine and gabapentinoid exposure: An analysis of overdose and all-cause mortality | International Journal of Drug Policy
Ferguson, M., et al. (2023). Associations with experience of non-fatal opioid overdose in British Columbia, Canada: a repeated cross sectional survey study | 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!
National and General News: British Columbia:
Yukon, Northwest Territories, and Nunavut: Quebec (et en français s'il vous plaît!):
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Share your success stories, your reports, and safer supply resources that you develop with the NSS-CoP membership through:

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