• Past and Upcoming Events

  • Prescriber Consultation Service

  • Featured Resources

  • Research Paper of the Month

  • Research

  • Community Updates and Events

  • In the News

  • Ways to Get Involved



On Wednesday, June 28th, we hosted the hot topic webinar: Safer Supply and Tools for Policy Change. The panel discussion, moderated by Garth Mullins of Crackdown Podcast, covered current efforts to organize and mobilize around supporting and expanding safer supply and harm reduction services. Speakers included: Leslie McBainAndrzej Celinski, Ben Perrin, Matt Johnson, and Elaine HyshkaClick here for the webinar recording, as well as all the 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

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. 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 June included:
  • Report back on "Love in the Time of Fentanyl" screening in Guelph, ON
  • Forced and coerced treatment
  • Presentation from SafeLink Alberta
  • Report back on the NSS-CoP panel presentation at the Alliance for Healthier Communities conference in Toronto, ON
  • What is safer supply really about?
  • NSS-CoP resource highlights - new evidence brief and FAQ
  • Continuity of care and the need for more healthcare professionals
  • A conversation about rebranding "Safer Supply"
Full meeting minutes can be found in the meeting notes and resources folder 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, July 5th 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 Thursday, July 13th at 12pm PT | 3pm ET for a Research Spotlight Webinar: Substance Use Patterns and Safer Supply Preferences Among People Who Use Drugs in British Columbia. Presenters from the Patterns and Preferences Study team will talk about quantitative and qualitative findings from a provincial needs assessment led by the BC Centre for Disease Control, in collaboration with a peer advisory and peer researchers. This needs assessment aimed to identify the safer supply preferences and needs of people who use illegal drugs in British Columbia to center PWUD in the design and delivery of safer supply policies and programs. The main focus will be on the substances and modes of use PWUD shared that they would need in order to make safer supply accessible and reduce their reliance on the unregulated, contaminated drug supply.

Presenters include:

  • Dr. Jane Buxton (Professor Emeritus, University of British Columbia; Patterns & Preferences Study Principal Investigator, BC Centre for Disease Control)
  • Jessica Xavier (Qualitative Research Lead, University of British Columbia; Patterns & Preferences Study Research Lead, BC Centre for Disease Control)
  • Phoenix Beck McGreevy (Peer Research Associate, Canadian Institute for Substance Use Research; Community Research Associate, Canadian Drug Policy Coalition; Patterns & Preferences Study Research Associate, BC Centre for Disease Control)
  • Jenny McDougall (Co-Founder and Office Coordinator, Coalition of Substance Users of the North; Patterns & Preferences Study Research Assistant, Professionals for the Ethical Engagement of Peers, BC Centre for Disease Control)

This webinar is open to all. A question and answer period will follow the presentation. Register now!

Join us on Monday, July 24th at 12pm PT | 3pm ET for a launch of the community report – A Prescription for Safety: A Study of Safer Opioid Supply Programs in Ontario – where key findings from a study of safer supply programs in London and Toronto, Ontario will be presented.

Presenters include:

  • Dr. Carol Strike (Professor, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto)
  • Dr. Adrian Guta (Associate Professor, School of Social Work, University of Windsor)
  • Rose Schmidt (PhD Candidate, Social and Behavioural Health, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto)

This is a public event and anyone can attend. A brief Q & A session will follow the presentation. Audience members are encouraged to submit their questions in the Q & A box. Register now!


Did you know we have a prescriber consultation service? This service offers a direct link between health care providers and experienced safer supply providers (e.g., physician, nurse practitioner). For better accessibility and continuity, registered consultation service members use an email address to connect with the consultant directly. If you want to register for the prescriber consultation service as a physician or nurse practitioner, please email us at

Emerging Evidence on Prescribed Safer Supply and Client Experiences: This evidence brief produced by the NSS-CoP summarizes existing and newly emerging evidence regarding prescribed safer supply. It covers who can access prescribed safer supply, evidence from research and evaluation studies, success factors for prescribed safer supply programs, and much more. Click here to read the full evidence brief!
Prescribed Safer Supply: Frequently Asked Questions: This FAQ produced by the NSS-CoP answers some of the most frequently asked questions about prescribed safer supply programs. In it, you will find key messages, plenty of evidence-based answers, supporting research, and places to find more information. Click here to read the full FAQ!
NSS-CoP Resource Library: Did you know we have a resource library with OVER 1,000 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!
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!
Opioid Toxicity and Access to Treatment among Adolescents and Young Adults in Ontario - Ontario Drug Policy Research Network: This study reports trends in opioid-related harms and access to treatment among adolescents (aged 15 to 17 years) and young adults (aged 18 to 24 years). Comparisons are also made with adults (aged 25 to 44 years). Read the full report and download the infographic

A Guide to Using Extended-Release Buprenorphine (Sublocade®) in Opioid Agonist Therapy (OAT): The Équipe de soutien clinique et organisationnel en dépendance et itinérance (ESCODI) in Montréal recently published a guide to using extended-release buprenorphine (Sublocade®) in OAT. The NSS-CoP is pleased to be sharing the English translation of their new publication. Read it and download it now!

Crackdown Podcast - Episode 38: The Knock: A brand-new episode of Crackdown Podcast is now available! Here's a brief description of the episode: "Being a mother who uses drugs can put you under constant scrutiny from the government. Especially if you’re Indigenous. You’re judged and watched. You live in fear of that knock on the door, when they come to take your kids away. Many moms are rightly scared to access safer supply, harm reduction, detox and withdrawal management – so they avoid those life-saving services because they don’t want to draw the eye of the state. In this episode Hawkfeather Peterson and Elli Taylor, two leaders in the drug user liberation movement, share their stories of surviving the scrutiny and violence of BC’s family policing system. We also hear from professor Jade Boyd who talks about her research on why overdose interventions aren’t reaching mothers."

Supporting Peer Work (SPW) Community Reports - Now Available! Supporting Peer Work (SPW) is a community-guided participatory action research project that studies how so-called “low barrier” social service agencies treat workers with lived/living expertise — also known as “peers.” In 2021 and 2022, we interviewed 35 peers and 16 supervisors from the Greater Toronto Area and discovered that most agencies misunderstand peer work. Although many organizations say they value lived/living experience, they build mazes and set traps for peers, forcing them to follow policies and practices that undermine their unique knowledge and skills. Peers are subject to discrimination, neglect, and double standards that block them from making positive change at their organizations and in their lives. Peers have the wisdom and expertise to lead organizations to transformative new practices, but only if they are resourced and supported on their own terms. Based on our findings, SPW demands that, in addition to providing peers with a living wage and more control over their working conditions, organizations must shift workplace cultures which currently encourage or enable direct discrimination against Black and Indigenous peer workers; enforce narrow and inappropriate standards of “professionalism”; and promote criminalizing and classist ideas about drug use. To learn more about our research and demands, and find reflective questions designed specifically for agencies looking to support peers, please read and share our reports, designed by The Public, below: Supporting Peer Work - Full ReportSupporting Peer Work - Summary ReportSupporting Peer Work - Brief Overview, and Questions for Agencies.

Good Grief Care - Resources and Training: These resources and trainings include practical toolkits, handbooks, training packages, and free consultation opportunities regarding grief care in frontline community work settings.

Gagnon, M., et al. (2023). Impact of safer supply programs on injection practices: client and provider experiences in Ontario, Canada | Harm Reduction Journal 

  • The aim of this analysis was to explore the impact of safer supply programs on injection practices from the perspective of clients and providers in Ontario, Canada.
  • Three themes were identified, each theme corresponding to a change in injection practices. The first change was a decrease in the amount of fentanyl used and a decrease in injection frequency. The second change involved switching to injecting hydromorphone tablets instead of fentanyl. Finally, the third change was stopping injecting altogether and taking safer supply medications orally.
  • Safer supply programs can contribute to reducing injection-related health risks in addition to overdose risks. More specifically, they have the potential to address disease prevention and health promotion gaps that stand-alone downstream harm reduction interventions cannot address, by working upstream and providing a safer alternative to fentanyl.
Scher, B. D., et al. (2023). “Criminalization Causes the Stigma”: Perspectives From People Who Use Drugs | Contemporary Drug Problems 
Ray, B., et al. (2023). Spatiotemporal Analysis Exploring the Effect of Law Enforcement Drug Market Disruptions on Overdose, Indianapolis, Indiana, 2020–2021 | American Journal of Public Health 
Ali, F., et al. (2023). “2.5 g, I could do that before noon”: a qualitative study on people who use drugs’ perspectives on the impacts of British Columbia’s decriminalization of illegal drugs threshold limit | Substance Abuse Treatment, Prevention, and Policy 
Olding, M., et al. (2023). Saving lives in our homes: Qualitative evaluation of a tenant overdose response program in supportive, single-room occupancy (SRO) housing | International Journal of Drug Policy 
Olding, M., et al. (2023). “We just don’t have the space for it”: Geographies of survival and spatial triage in overdose prevention sites | Health & Place  
Bonn, M., et al. (2023). Safe Supply In The Midst of a Crisis of Unregulated Toxic Drug Deaths - A Commentary on Roberts and Humphreys (2023) | Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs 
Cui, Z., et al. (2023). The Impact of Longitudinal Substance Use Patterns on the Risk of Opioid Agonist Therapy Discontinuation: A Repeated Measures Latent Class AnalysisInternational Journal of Mental Health and Addiction 
Karamouzian, M., et al. (2023). Longitudinal latent polysubstance use patterns among a cohort of people who use opioids in Vancouver, Canada | Drug & Alcohol Review 
Abadie, R. (2023). “I don’t want to die”: a qualitative study of coping strategies to prevent fentanyl-related overdose deaths among people who inject drugs and its implications for harm reduction policies | Harm Reduction Journal 
Prakashini Banka-Cullen, S., et al. (2023). Nurse prescribing practices across the globe for medication-assisted treatment of the opioid use disorder (MOUD): a scoping review | Harm Reduction Journal 
Marshall, T., et al. (2023). Beliefs, attitudes and experiences of virtual overdose monitoring services from the perspectives of people who use substances in Canada: a qualitative study | Harm Reduction Journal 
Yazdani, K., et al. (2023). Characterizing opioid agonist therapy uptake and factors associated with treatment retention among people with HIV in British Columbia, CanadaPreventive Medicine Reports
Cooley, E., et al. (2023). Involuntary Treatment for Adult Nonoffenders With Substance Use Disorders? | Canadian Journal of Addiction
Palis, H., et al. (2023). Rising rates of infective endocarditis in North America: An urgent need for attention to the rapidly changing unregulated drug supply | International Journal of Drug Policy
Cooper, L., et al. (2023). Exploring the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on healthcare and substance use service access among women who inject drugs: a qualitative study | Harm Reduction Journal 
Osborne, B., & Kelly, P. J. (2023). Substance use disorders, physical health and recovery capital: Examining the experiences of clients and the alcohol and other drug workforce | Drug & Alcohol Review 
McKnight, C., et al. (2023). Understanding intentionality of fentanyl use and drug overdose risk: Findings from a mixed methods study of people who inject drugs in New York City | International Journal of Drug Policy 
Murray, J. P., et al. (2023). Low dose IV buprenorphine inductions for patients with opioid use disorder and concurrent pain: a retrospective case series | Addiction Science & Clinical Practice 
Ohlendorf, E., et al. (2023). Treatment History and Interest in Injectable Opioid Agonist Treatment With Hydromorphone Among People Who Inject Drugs | Journal of Addiction Medicine 
Mark, T. L., et al. (2023). Improving Research on Racial Disparities in Access to Medications to Treat Opioid Use Disorders | Journal of Addiction Medicine 
Ohlendorf, E., et al. (2023). Treatment History and Interest in Injectable Opioid Agonist Treatment With Hydromorphone Among People Who Inject Drugs | Journal of Addiction Medicine 
Ellefsen, R., et al. (2023). Patients’ satisfaction with heroin-assisted treatment: a qualitative study | Harm Reduction Journal 
Jakubowski, A., et al. (2023). Three decades of research in substance use disorder treatment for syringe services program participants: a scoping review of the literature | Addiction Science & Clinical Practice 
French, R., et al. (2023). “I wouldn’t need Narcan for myself, but I can have it for somebody else:” perceptions of harm reduction among hospitalized patients with OUD | Addiction Science & Clinical Practice 
Pollack, H. A. (2023). Speaking and learning across disciplines in the harm reduction debateInternational Journal of Drug Policy
Dowton, A., et al. (2023). Recognition and Treatment of Wounds in Persons Using Xylazine: A Case Report From New Haven, Connecticut | Journal of Addiction Medicine
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!
HIV self-tests are here! Now what? In August 2022, the Government of Canada announced new funding to purchase and distribute HIV self-test kits across the country. The kits are being distributed to individuals and communities most affected by HIV through a combination of community-based organizations and mail orders placed online. CATIE and REACH Nexus - Community Link are collaborating to distribute HIV self-test kits to organizations that support the health of people who use substances. We, alongside many other groups, are working together to engage interested community-based organizations and services, and ensure that they receive kits, training, logistical support and information resources. How your organization can participate: Organizations that would like to learn more or sign up are encouraged to contact Ayibatonye Oriakhi at We can give you more information and ensure you have access to appropriate quantities, training and support, and receive information resources to distribute with your self-test kits. To learn more about HIV self-testing, visit the CATIE website.
National and General News: British Columbia:
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):

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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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