• Past and Upcoming Meetings and Events

  • Prescriber Consultation Service

  • DULF Call to Action

  • Featured Resources

  • Research Paper of the Month

  • Research

  • Community Updates and Events

  • In the News

  • Ways to Get Involved


On Thursday, October 19th, we hosted a special Skin and Wound Care Workshop for People Who Use Drugs. The presentation covered basic principles of skin and wound care.

Our Presenters:

  • Erin Telegdi, RN
  • Pat Coutts, RN
  • Heather Mackay-Lams, Community Health Worker
 A Q & A session followed the presentation. Click here for the workshop 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


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, November 1st 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 Friday, November 3rd from 12 - 2pm ET for a hot topic webinar and interactive workshop: Escaping the Maze: Findings and Strategies from the Supporting Peer Work (SPW) Research Project. This report launch and interactive workshop will give participants the opportunity to learn from the experiences of people who do frontline work in their own communities and make meaningful commitments to social and structural change, led by the members of the SPW steering committee.

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. These forms of oppression emerge from and reinforce white supremacy, colonialism, capitalism, cisheteropatriarchy, and ableism.

Based on our findings, SPW demands agencies provide peers with living wage and more control over their working conditions, but also that they shift workplace cultures that currently enable and often encourage direct discrimination against Black and Indigenous peer workers, narrow and inappropriate standards of “professionalism,” and criminalizing and classist ideas about drug use. This workshop will support participants in identifying and addressing these dynamics, and build capacity for individuals and organizations to imagine a different kind of social service provision. Click here to access their new series of published reports.

Our Presenters and Facilitators:

  • Les Harper
  • Suwaida Farah
  • Andre Hermanstyne
  • Lindsay Jennings
  • Madelyn Gold
  • Maria Scotton
  • Michael Nurse
  • Julia Walter
  • Griffin Epstein
A Q & A session with the presenters and facilitators will follow the webinar presentation, followed by an interactive workshop in small breakout groups. This event is open to all. Register now!

Please join us on Monday, November 13th from 3-4pm ET | 4-5pm AT for a research spotlight webinar: ‘More of the same, but worse than before’: A qualitative study of the challenges encountered by people who use drugs in Nova Scotia, Canada during COVID-19. This qualitative study examines the challenges encountered by people who use drugs in Nova Scotia, Canada during COVID-19. As one of the few papers that investigates safer supply in Nova Scotia, the presentation will outline key findings, facilitators and barriers to care, and implications for future research.

Read the full research paper here.

This is a public webinar and anyone can attend. A brief Q & A will follow the presentation. Register now!

Our Presenters:

  • Matthew Bonn, Communications Manager, Canadian AIDS Society
  • Emilie Comeau, PhD, Department of Psychiatry, Dalhousie University
  • Sheila Wildeman, Associate Professor of Law,  Schulich School of Law, Dalhousie University; Associate Director, Health Law Institute; Co-Chair, East Coast Prison Justice Society

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.

Drug User Liberation Front - Call to Action: On October 25, Drug User Liberation Front co-founders Eris Nyx and Jeremy Kalicum were arrested. Their crime? Saving lives abandoned by the government in a toxic drug poisoning crisis. Over 2,300 people in BC die every year from the unregulated and toxic drug supply - with overdose the leading cause of death in this province. For just over one year, DULF has distributed heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine through their compassion club model to a small select group of people who use drugs living in the Downtown Eastside. The results? Fewer overdoses, better health, and a reduced reliance on criminalized activity. DULF's bravery and life-saving efforts should be praised for its success, and recognized for the necessary intervention it is. This is a crucial moment in Canadian drug policy history and the future of the Downtown Eastside. Show your solidarity for DULF, the Downtown Eastside, and drug users everywhere! There are lives at stake. 

Here's what you can do:

1. March for DULF! Show up Friday, November 3. 12:30 PM at Main & Hastings. Bring everyone you know! See attached for the event poster

2. Spread the message. Drop a banner or put up posters at your organization.

3. Read and share solidarity statements & graphics

4. Read and sign this open letter to the VPD, CoV, and Province of BC condemning DULF's arrests

5. Write a letter to public health officials and government showing your public support of DULF. 

6. Donate to support DULF's legal fund

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!
Drug Users Liberation Front Compassion Club and Fulfillment Centre Pilot Project - Preliminary Results: This report presents preliminary descriptive findings from the one-year mark, shedding light on critical aspects such as overdose incidents, criminal engagement, housing conditions, and participant perspectives.

Care Not Cops & Crackdown - Scrap Bill 34: Care Not Cops & Crackdown Podcast Statement: Scrap #Bill34 & respond to the drug toxicity public health emergency. Full statement here.

Revealing the Missing Link to Climate Justice: Drug Policy - Health Poverty Action: A ground-breaking report from the International Coalition on Drug Policy Reform and Environmental Justice brings together evidence that reveals how the system of drug prohibition – the so called war on drugs – is undermining climate action. The report by a coalition of scientists, academics and activists from all over the world (currently co-ordinated by Health Poverty Action) outlines the key ways in which drug policy impedes climate justice.

Opioid and Suspect Drug-Related Deaths in Ontario – ODPRN: The Office of the Chief Coroner (OCC) for Ontario provides death investigations and inquests to ensure that no death will be overlooked, concealed or ignored. This includes updated summaries of suspect-drug related deaths by public health unit (PHU) region and provincially to provide an early signal of potential trends in suspect drug-related deaths and preliminary data on opioid-related deaths at provincial and public health unit levels.

Innovating Beyond Exclusively Medicalized Approaches - Policy Brief and Recommendations - Updated February 2023 - Canadian Civil Society Advancing Safe Supply Working Group: The Canadian Civil Society Advancing Safe Supply Working Group is a coalition of national, provincial, and regional stakeholders with expertise in drug use, policy, research, and medical and non-medical models of safe supply. This policy brief articulates the limitations of, and the harms of over-emphasizing, medicalized models for safe supply, and proposes recommendations for advancing non-medicalized models for the supply, distribution, and access to, safer alternatives to the increasingly toxic unregulated drug supply. Following these recommendations will result in enhancing the health, safety and autonomy of people who use drugs, and will positively impact the broader community.

Resources for Families, Friends, and Supporters: PQWCHC has assembled a new webpage of resources dedicated to families, friends, and supporters of people who use drugs. 
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!
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

  • The current study assessed attitudes towards SSPs as well as the factors that influence these attitudes, specifically the impact of demographics, personality, and stigma in a sample of Atlantic Canadians.
  • In the current study, 82.3% of the sample was supportive of Safer Supply Programs (SSPs) overall, which represents an elevated level of agreement within this sample as compared to other studies that examined attitudes towards harm reduction generally (64%) or SSPs specifically (56.3%–63.5%).
  • Although the majority of the variables used in the current study to predict attitudes towards SSPs cannot be modified (e.g., demographics), stigma can be targeted in an attempt to increase positive attitudes towards SSPs, which thereby is likely to increase support for the policies surrounding these programs.
  • Public awareness campaigns have been used in the past to reduce stigma towards people with mental illness. Such approaches are essential in order to facilitate the expansion of SSPs in Canada and address the growing opioid epidemic.
Zagorski, C. M., et al. (2023). Reducing the harms of xylazine: clinical approaches, research deficits, and public health context | Harm Reduction Journal 
Michaud, L., et al. (2023). Therapeutic alignments: examining police and public health/harm reduction partnerships | Policing and Society 
Brothers, T. D., et al. (2023). Effect of incarceration and opioid agonist treatment transitions on risk of hospitalisation with injection drug use-associated bacterial infections: A self-controlled case series in New South Wales, Australia | International Journal of Drug Policy 
Adams, A., et al. (2023). The impact of relaxing restrictions on take-home doses during the COVID-19 pandemic on program effectiveness and client experiences in opioid agonist treatment: a mixed methods systematic review | Substance Abuse Treatment, Prevention, and Policy 
Wang, L., et al. (2023). Predictors of fatal and nonfatal overdose after prescription of opioids for chronic pain: a systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies | Canadian Medical Association Journal 
Adams, J. A., et al. (2023). Examining buprenorphine diversion through a harm reduction lens: an agent-based modeling study | Harm Reduction Journal 
Ross, L. E., et al. (2023). ‘I will play this tokenistic game, I just want something useful for my community’: experiences of and resistance to harms of peer research | Critical Public Health 
Ibrahimi, S. E., et al. (2023). The Association between Community Social Vulnerability and Prescription Opioid Availability with Individual Opioid Overdose | Drug and Alcohol Dependence 
Fischer, B., et al. (2023). Safer drug supply’ measures in Canada to reduce the drug overdose fatality toll: Clarifying concepts, practices and evidence within a public health intervention framework | Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs 
Rioux, W., et al. (2023). A cost benefit analysis of a virtual overdose monitoring service/mobile overdose response service: the national overdose response service | Substance Abuse Treatment, Prevention, and Policy 
Seo, D-C., et al. (2023). “That’s why we’re speaking up today”: exploring barriers to overdose fatality prevention in Indianapolis’ Black community with semi-structured interviews | Harm Reduction Journal
Nyeong Park, J., et al. (2023). A survey of North American drug checking services operating in 2022 | International Journal of Drug Policy 
Suen, L. W., et al. (2023). “Get in and get out, get on with life”: Patient and provider perspectives on methadone van implementation for opioid use disorder treatment | International Journal of Drug Policy 
Ali, F., et al. (2023). Client experiences using a new supervised consumption service in Sudbury, Ontario: A qualitative study | PLOS ONE 
Kresovich, A., et al. (2023). Associations between partisan media consumption, opioid use disorder stigma, and opioid policy support: An exploration of the media’s role in the ongoing opioid epidemic | Preventive Medicine Reports 
Sujan, A. C., et al. (2023). Agreement Between Self-reports and Urine Toxicology Measures of Illicit Methamphetamine and Cocaine Use During Early Pregnancy | Journal of Addiction Medicine 
McKenzie, S., et al. (2023). The peer comic book project : illustrating peer workers’ experiences working throughout the overdose crisis in the suburban Lower Mainland | UBC 
Richert, T., et al. (2023). Harm reduction social work with people who use drugs: a qualitative interview study with social workers in harm reduction services in Sweden | Harm Reduction Journal 
Salomon, A., et al. (2023). Outrage and algorithms: Shifting drug-related stigma in a digital world | International Journal of Drug Policy 
Song, M., et al. (2023). Exploring trauma and wellbeing of people who use drugs after witnessing overdose: A qualitative study | International Journal of Drug Policy
Tapper, A., et al. (2023). The utilization and delivery of safer smoking practices and services: a narrative synthesis of the literature | Harm Reduction Journal
Sharafi, H., et al. (2023). Prescription psychostimulants for the treatment of amphetamine-type stimulant use disorder: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized placebo-controlled trials | Addiction
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!
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