• A Message From Our Team
  • Member Survey 2023: What You Told Us
  • Top 10 Resources
  • Top 10 Research Papers
  • Top 5 Evaluations
  • Top 5 Highlights
  • Top 10 Webinars
As 2023 nears its close, we send our sincere thanks to each and every one of our members. We are thrilled to share that 1,575 people are now members of the NSS-CoP. This growing membership includes a dynamic and interdisciplinary group of people from right across the country – physicians, nurses and nurse practitioners, people who use(d) drugs, harm reduction workers, pharmacists, researchers, program coordinators, policy analysts, and activists!

This community of practice would not exist without your hard work and dedication to your communities! We are honoured to be a part of strengthening the capacity of prescribed safer supply programs, as well as supporting nonmedical and compassion club models.

We offer our special thanks to our advisory council and working group members who remain so engaged in the work we are doing! Your guidance, input, and feedback are deeply appreciated and helps us in improving our work. We are particularly excited and proud of our three new resources published in 2023, including our Prescribed Safer Supply: Frequently Asked Questions document, our Key Messages on Safer Supply resource package, and our ever-evolving evidence brief Prescribed Safer Supply: Emerging Evidence.

Like most organizations and programs we work with, we share in your uncertainties when it comes to funding notices, resources, and the political landscape. As the political climate continues to shift across the country, we are bracing for change and working together to safeguard the life-saving harm reduction programs and work that we know are essential to addressing the escalating unregulated drug poisoning crisis.

We sincerely hope that 2024 will bring with it promising news about funding as well as other commitments from our governments to address the unregulated drug poisoning crisis, including the essential policy changes needed, such as decriminalization, the swift implementation of nonmedical models of safer supply, and the establishment of a regulated drug supply.

As we move into 2024 together, rest assured that we remain committed to working in solidarity with you, your organizations, and your communities.

Warmest wishes, 

Alexandra, Ashley, Fola, Rebecca, and Robyn
National Safer Supply Community of Practice Team
Back in September, we asked about your experiences with the NSS-CoP so far. We also wanted to hear about where you think we should go in future. THANK YOU to everyone who responded! Here are a few highlights of what we found.

First: We always have paid (and always will pay) people with lived and living experience (PWLLE) for contributing their expertise to all our meetings, working groups, and conferences, and we endeavour to pay a fair wage. People frequently mentioned the need for honoraria and sponsorship opportunities for PWLLE participation, so we’d like to be clear that this is our standard practice. Working within a fixed budget, we try to balance pay scales with inclusivity: do we pay five people $100, or one person $500? There is a range of reasonable options and, with your ongoing input, we’ll continue to explore the possibilities. 

The top benefits people experienced from being a part of the NSS-CoP were access to resources and information, new knowledge and skills, and an expanded network.
“The CoP is a great network of like-minded folks sharing pertinent, evidence based information.”

New ideas, a sense of community, and opportunities to share information with others scored highly as well, and those all speak to the spirit of the community itself – all of you. Collectively, you have formed a very inclusive space:
“I feel so supported knowing the community is there. I never feel intimidated or like I have imposter syndrome when I attend CoP things. I learn so much from everyone.”
Online events were requested the most:
“Online events are much more accessible - I don't have much support for work travel costs from my employer.”

“Online access is so valuable for those of us across the country, especially in non-urban settings or where safer supply is just in the baby phase. Please continue to host those!”

There was strong support for in-person conferences too:
“Opportunities to build community through in-person gatherings. This work is hard, you can feel alone, so it is restorative to be surrounded by allies.”

While we will always have a strong interdisciplinary approach, we do have some affinity groups for people in specific roles (PWLLE, nurses, program operators, etc.), and you suggested some additional ones. A space for frontline staff was a frequent request. 

People offered a long list of potential topics for the community to think about addressing, including program models, best practices for prescribing safer supply, decolonization, PWLLE workplace support, regional issues (including what’s happening with safer supply in other countries), and language issues such as destigmatizing language and working on creating an effective narrative about safer supply:
“How to talk about the benefits of this work to members of the public, decision-makers, etc. We're building a strong evidence base, which is awesome for certain audiences, but goes over the head of regular folks.”

Thank you again to everyone who took the time to offer your thoughts. One of you offered the following, which is a good thought on which to conclude:
“Don't let the prohibition propaganda machine get you down!”
  1. Prescribed Safer Supply: Emerging Evidence
  2. Prescribed Safer Supply: Frequently Asked Questions
  3. Key Messages on Safer Supply
  4. Safer Supply for Health Care Providers: Frequently Asked Questions
  5. Safer Supply, Opioid Agonist Treatment & Harm Reduction: National Advocacy Toolkit
  1. Imagine Safe Supply Summary of Findings June 2023 - CDPC
  2. Prescribed Safer Supply Protocols - BCCSU
  3. Harm Reduction in Canada Film Series - CATIE
  4. Connecting to Culture - FNHA
  5. A Prescription for Safety: A Study of Safer Opioid Supply Programs in Ontario - Safe Supply Project
  6. Drug User Liberation Front Compassion Club and Fulfillment Centre Pilot Project: Preliminary Results - DULF
  7. Supporting Peer Work Community Reports - SPW Project Team
  8. Peer Life: A Degree in Street Knowledge - Toward the Heart
  9. Revealing the Missing Link to Climate Justice: Drug Policy - Health Poverty Action
  10. Innovating Beyond Exclusively Medicalized Approaches: Policy Brief and Recommendations, Updated February 2023 - Canadian Civil Society Advancing Safe Supply Working Group
  11. Best Practices for Supporting People Who Use Substances - SafeLink Alberta
  12. Talking Back to the City: A Manual for Winning – and Resisting – Local Drug Policy - PIVOT and VANDU
  13. A Guide to Using Extended-Release Buprenorphine (Sublocade®) in Opioid Agonist Therapy (OAT) - ESCODI
  14. Crackdown Podcast 2023 - Episodes 36 to 42
  15. Substance Use Patterns and Safer Supply Preferences Among People Who Use Drugs in British Columbia - BCCDC
  1. Bardwell, G., et al. (2023). Safer opioid supply via a biometric dispensing machine: a qualitative study of barriers, facilitators and associated outcomes | Canadian Medical Association Journal 

  2. Gagnon, M., et al. (2023). Impact of safer supply programs on injection practices: client and provider experiences in Ontario, Canada | Harm Reduction Journal
  3. Giang, K., et al. (2023). Risk mitigation guidance and safer supply prescribing among young people who use drugs in the context of COVID-19 and overdose emergencies | International Journal of Drug Policy
  4. Gomes, T., et al. (2022). Changing patterns of opioid initiation for pain management in Ontario, Canada: A population-based cross-sectional study | PLOS One
  5. Haines, M., & O’Byrne, P. (2023). Safer opioid supply: qualitative program evaluation | Harm Reduction Journal
  6. Karamouzian, M., et al. (2023). Challenges of implementing safer supply programs in Canada during the COVID-19 pandemic: A qualitative analysis | International Journal of Drug Policy
  7. Morris, H., et al. (2023). Public support for safer supply programs: analysis of a cross-sectional survey of Canadians in two provinces | Canadian Journal of Public Health
  8. Ontario Drug Policy Research Network. (2023). Safer opioid supply: A rapid review of the evidence. Toronto, ON: Ontario Drug Policy Research Network.
  9. Oviedo-Joekes, E., et al. (2023). “I can’t see anything but upside”: A qualitative study of clients’ experiences on North America’s first take-home injectable opioid agonist treatment (iOAT) program | Substance Abuse Treatment, Prevention, and Policy
  10. Schmidt, R. A., et al. (2023). "I don't chase drugs as much anymore, and I'm not dead": Client reported outcomes associated with safer opioid supply programs in Ontario, Canada | Drug & Alcohol Review
  11. Scow, M., et al. (2023). Peer-led safer supply and opioid agonist treatment medication distribution: a case study from rural British Columbia | Harm Reduction Journal 
  12. Thornton, A. N., et al. (2023). Factors Influencing Attitudes Towards Safer Supply Programs for People Who Use Drugs: Findings From an Atlantic Canadian Province | Journal of Drug Issues
  1. London InterCommunity Health Centre’s Safer Opioid Supply Program September 2023 Evaluation Report: A Comparison of SOS Client Outcomes from 2022 and 2023
  2. Parkdale Queen West Community Health Centre Safer Opioid Supply 2023 Evaluation Report
  3. Kitchener-Waterloo Safer Supply Program Evaluation
  4. Safer Supply Ottawa Evaluation: Spring 2023 Report
  5. A Prescription for Safety: A Study of Safer Opioid Supply Programs in Ontario
  1. Safer Supply: Current Perspectives and Evidence
  2. Imagine Safe Supply: Aligning Safe Supply with Community Values of People Who Use Drugs
  3. Safer Supply and Tools for Policy Change
  4. Prescribed Fentanyl Safe Supply: Team Perspectives
  5. London InterCommunity Health Centre Safer Opioid Supply Program September 2023 Evaluation Report: A Comparison of SOS Client Outcomes from 2022 and 2023
  6. A Prescription for Safety: A Study of Safer Opioid Supply Programs in Ontario
  7. Parkdale Queen West Community Health Centre Safer Supply Program Evaluation Results
  8. Safer Supply Takes a Village: Findings from the Kitchener-Waterloo Program Evaluation
  9. Safer Supply Ottawa Research Evaluation Findings: Prescribed Stimulant Safer Supply
  10. Escaping the Maze: Findings and Strategies from the Supporting Peer Work (SPW) Research Project
(519) 660-0875 ext. 1264

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