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  • Past and Upcoming Events

  • March Meeting Themes

  • Working Group Updates

  • Featured Resources

  • Research Paper of the Month

  • Research

  • In the News

  • Success Stories

  • Community Updates and Events

  • Ways to Get Involved



  • On Tuesday, March 15th, the NSS-CoP and the Canadian Association of People Who Use Drugs (CAPUD) co-hosted the webinar Problems with Medicalized Safer Supply, featuring: Eris Nyx and Jeremy Kalicum, co-founders of the Drug User Liberation Front (DULF). Following their presentation, an open conversation was moderated by Matthew Bonn, the Program Manager of CAPUDCLICK HERE for access to the webinar recording, resources, and French transcription.

Weekly 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

Upcoming Webinar Events:

  • Join us on Monday, April 4th at 3pm EDT for a Wound Care Workshop for Non-Clinicians, featuring Erin Telegdi, a Registered Nurse practising at the Moss Park Consumption and Treatment Service, Casey House Hospital for HIV Care, and the Wound Healing Clinic at Women's College Hospital, and Sunny Sultan, a Harm Reduction Worker and Activist currently working at Street Health and Parkdale Queen West Community Health Centre. Audience members are welcome to submit their questions in the Q & A box. This is a public event. English closed captioning, and French written transcription will be provided. Webinar Registration Link.

  • On Thursday, April 28th, 2022 @ 12pm EDT, we are hosting a Pharmacist Roundtable on Safer Supply. More details to comeAudience members are welcome to submit their questions in the Q & A box. This is a public event. English closed captioning, and French written transcription will be provided. Webinar Registration Link.

  • FREE registration for the Scaling Up Safer Supply Ontario Regional Meeting happening on June 10th 2022 is now OPEN! Join Ontario members of the NSS-CoP at this one-day knowledge-sharing session in Toronto, Ontario. We will address the future of safer opioid supply from various perspectives in both plenary and small-group sessions. Additionally, there will be opportunities for informal discussions. For more information and to register, please click here.

Meeting Minutes:

Meeting minutes can be found in the meeting notes and resources folder on the National Safer Supply Community of Practice
Google Drive.

March 3rd, 2022:

  • Why "Safer Supply" instead of "Safe Supply"?
  • Continuity of care
  • Prescribing safer supply for individuals with benzodiazepine use disorder

March 10th, 2022:

  • Equity and safer supply
  • Is Diacetylmorphine available or accessible?
  • Diverting and pregnancy – decreased Dilaudid and increased M-Eslon and Methadone

March 17th, 2022:

  • Ontario province and healthcare
  • Access to pharmaceuticals
  • Withdrawal management

March 24th, 2022:

  • Suppliers, their impacts on safer supply and working with them
  • Police responses to overdose calls
  • SUAP funding – how does payment work?

NSS-CoP Working Groups Currently Happening:  

  • Advisory Council: Meets monthly to provide input, feedback, and advice to the NSS-CoP team about the activities and direction of the NSS-CoP. We are currently seeking some clinical care members to join (RN, RPN, NP, MD). Next meeting: Wednesday, March 30th @ 2pm EDT.
  • Reframing Diversion: The "issue of diversion" is often cited as a concern for people who are on the fence about or opposed to safer supply. This working group is challenging the dominant conception of diversion and producing some tools and documents to reframe the concept of diversion to reflect a more nuanced understanding about drug sharing/selling/etc., including that it often reflects a practice of care between people and the existence of unmet needs. The group has put together an FAQ document for prescribers that we will soon have finalized and ready to share. We are also looking at putting together an explainer video. Open to all members. Next meeting: Monday, April 11th @ 2pm EDT.
  • People Who Use Drugs Working Group: This group was formed in January and includes about 18 members from different parts of the country, some who are on safer supply and some who are yet to be able to access safer supply. They are currently discussing some ideas of what work that they would like to do together. Members are compensated for their time. There is currently a waiting list to participate in this working group. Next meeting: Friday, April 22nd @ 1:30pm EDT.
  • Pharmacist Meeting: We've had a couple of meetings with pharmacists to discuss safer supply from their perspectives and learn from them what challenges and successes that they have encountered, and see what tools/info might help support pharmacists to provide safer supply. There will be a pharmacist panel in April with some of the members from this group. Open to all pharmacists. Next meeting: Wednesday, April 20th @ 6:30pm EDT.
  • Program Operations Meeting: Some folks involved with programming have started meeting to look at operations issues: policies, program needs, funding, etc. It's been interesting hearing about different programs and models, and the different contexts in which they operate. We are pooling resources, tools, templates, and knowledge products produced by programs to share with others to help make it easier for new programs to get going. Open to all program managers, coordinators. Next meeting: Friday, April 22nd @ 2pm EDT.

NSS-CoP Working Groups Coming in April and May 2022: 

  • Guidance for Withdrawal Management Services Providing Care to People on Safer Supply: We will have a small interdisciplinary group discuss suggested guidance and meet with some folks from WMS to hear what they might need as well.
  • Securing Access to Pharmaceuticals: This is a big one - and as a working group we'll need to hone in on what we want to do together. The issue is the need to expand the range of medication options for safer supply. The challenge as a national group is that barriers to access are, in large part (but not only) regional/provincial.
  • Pain Management Guidance: This group will look at developing some guidance to support health care providers to provide effective pain management to people who are on safer supply.
  • Providing Carries: Thanks to Nat K. for suggesting a working group on this! This group will provide safer supply prescribers with guidance to support them to provide carries to people who are on safer supply.
  • Models for Rural and Remote Communities: These communities face challenges to the models that are currently offered in urban settings. This group will meet to discuss the challenges and look for innovative and feasible solutions.  

If you are interested in participating in any of these working groups, please email us at

  • Early Findings from Safer Supply Pilot Projects: In 2020, the Substance Use and Addictions Program at Health Canada funded ten time-limited safer supply pilot projects in three provinces. Health Canada then contracted a four-month qualitative assessment, from December 2020 to March 2021, of these projects to capture early learnings, including effective strategies for program delivery. This is a summary of an independent assessment report prepared by Dale McMurchy Consulting based on information gathered through surveys and interviews with safer supply program leads, staff and participants. While this assessment was funded by Health Canada, the information summarized herein does not necessarily represent the views of Health Canada.
  • Petition: Drug Policies are Killing People: Over 25,000 Canadians have died since 2016 due to the poisoned drug supply. We have it in our power to prevent these deaths right now! Moms Stop The Harm (MSTH) is requesting your support for Bill C-216, An Act to amend the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act and implement a National Strategy on Substance Use.
  • Safer Supply Roundtable - Beyond Medical Models: When MSTH co-founders Leslie McBain and Petra Schulz first met with Carolyn Bennett, the Federal Minister of Mental Health and Addictions and Associate Minister of Health, they discussed the importance of developing scalable models for safe supply. When the Minister offered that she would attend a round table on the topic if they were to organize one, they immediately jumped at the opportunity and reached out to the Canadian Drug Policy Coalition to help them organize and host.
  • Harm Reduction: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: John Oliver discusses why overdoses in the U.S. have been on the rise and what we should, and shouldn’t, be doing to prevent them.
  • Crackdown - Episode 30: DULF: There is a brand-new Crackdown Podcast episode available titled "DULF". Here is a brief description of the episode: "In spite of a massive spike in overdose death, BC’s government still refuses to offer a genuinely safe supply of drugs. Eris Nyx and Jeremy Kalicum tell the story of how the Drug User Liberation Front has stepped up to do what the policymakers refuse to do themselves: offer people a safe version of the drugs they already use. Then, Crackdown’s science advisor, Professor Ryan McNeil talks about his recently published work on BC’s 'risk mitigation guidelines'. Why has this program failed to curb overdose deaths, and what needs to be done to improve it?"

Lew, B. et al. 2022. The impact of an integrated safer use space and safer supply program on non-fatal overdose among emergency shelter residents during a COVID-19 outbreak: a case study | Harm Reduction Journal


  • There was a significant reduction in the non-fatal overdose rate after the safer drug use and safer supply harm reduction program was introduced.
  • Pre-existing relationships between shelter providers, harm reduction groups, and healthcare providers were critical to implementing the program.
  • This is a promising approach to reducing harms from the criminalization of substance use in congregate settings, particularly in populations with a higher prevalence of substance use and substance use disorders.

Have a question that you’d like to ask? Email us: or send a message via Twitter, Instagram, Facebook.


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.

National and General News: British Columbia: Alberta: Saskatchewan: Manitoba: Ontario: Yukon: Québec (et en français s'il vous plaît!): Maritimes (Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland): International:
There's an individual I have been supporting since 2019 who has historically struggled to engage with health-care system/providers. This individual has experienced sepsis and endocarditis since I have known them and has been admitted to hospital numerous times. Each time this individual has left AMA (Against Medical Advice) due to lack of adequate care in relation to their withdrawal and substance use needs. I would often receive numerous calls with concerns about this individual's level of compliance. This individual historically had numerous encounters with hospital security and was unable to receive the heart surgery they needed as a result of these compounding factors.  
Since accessing Safer Supply, this individual has remained successfully in hospital for 3+ weeks and is recovering from the heart surgery they needed for 1+ year but has been unable to receive. This individual has not left AMA or had encounters with hospital security during this admission. This individual reports that their level of care and relationship with health-care providers has improved. They also report that their withdrawal symptoms and pain levels are being managed in hospital for the first time due to the continuity in care between their Safer Supply prescription and hospital providers. Medical professionals report that this individual has been compliant with their care plan and is able to engage meaningfully in their recovery.  
Knowing this individual personally, I have seen tremendous growth in their ability to identify clear goals, engage with health-care and building capacity to create meaningful relationships. My relationship with this individual has been able to go beyond intervening in crisis and trying to accommodate their immediate needs as a result of the Safer Supply program. Since this individual has been a part of the program, I have had the opportunity to engage in honest, non-judgmental conversations about their substance use which has allowed me to get to know this individual as a whole person. Having the opportunity for our team to offer this individual a legal, regulated prescription of opiates has been instrumental to the progress we've seen in the short amount of time they've been on this program.

- Submitted by a NSS-CoP member who wishes to remain anonymous

Have a success story you want to share? Send it to us at!
  • 4th Annual Harm Reduction Symposium 2022: The Regional Harm Reduction Taskforce of New Brunswick is hosting their 4th Annual Harm Reduction Symposium on Wednesday, April 27th from 10:30am to 3:30pm EDT / 11:30am to 4:30pm ADT. This symposium is a unique opportunity to be open and talk with others about safe drug supply and safe housing. It takes a country to change discourse and make meaningful change in the lives of people who use drugs.  For more information and to register, please click here.
  • Registration for the annual Alliance for Healthier Communities - one of our three main collaborating partner organizations - is now OPENAction Now! Building Equitable Futures Together is happening on June 8th and 9th 2022 in Toronto, Ontario. This annual health equity-focused conference will bring together clinicians and other health and social service providers, researchers, policy-makers and others to learn and discuss all the local change happening in the broader contexts we are working in right now. For more information and to register, please click here.
  • CAPUD SUAP Evaluation: The Canadian Association of People Who Use Drugs (CAPUD) - one of our three collaborating partner organizations - received funding from Health Canada’s Substance Use and Addiction Program (SUAP) to support their work. CAPUD is required to collect information to support the evaluation of the project. If you're a member of CAPUD and/or if you watched a webinar, Stimulus Connect, read their documents or interacted with the organization, even in the smallest way, you are eligible to fill out the evaluation form. Please click here to start the survey.
  • They would really appreciate it if you could take a few minutes to answer the evaluation questions. Your participation is essential to their work, and they need your feedback to understand if they are meeting the needs of their community and stakeholders throughout Canada. Click here to start the evaluation survey.
  • Registration is open for the Opioid Use in Primary Care Virtual Conference happening virtually on April 8th, 2022 from 8am to 4pm EST. Here is a brief description of the conference: "Designed for anyone involved in the care and support of people who use opioids, this one-day event will provide the opportunity to learn about and discuss topics related to opioid use practices, policies, treatments and harm reduction. We invite health care professionals, people with lived and living experience, family members, researchers, policymakers and educators to engage in a broad range of topics including transitions in care, lessons from COVID-19 and other major disruptions, the drug poisoning crisis, integration of care, safer supply initiatives, stigma and opioid use lessons from other countries around opioid use. The conference also provides a networking opportunity with others in the field of opioid use and treatment." Click HERE to register.
  • The Collaborative Community Laboratory on Substance Use and Harm Reduction (Co/Lab) is a collaborative network for research and knowledge exchange that promotes health and health equity for people who use drugs and alcohol. Co/Lab activities are guided by collaborations with people who use drugs and alcohol, families, health care providers, researchers and policy makers, and are focused on generating practical evidence that can be used to enhance substance use services and supporting policies. Co/Lab serves as platform for set of research projects including the development of an equity-based monitoring framework for substance use and a suite of services research focused on harm reduction and safer supply programs. Co/Lab also sponsors a lively community of practice that brings together people who use drugs with other community partners. This CoP includes a series of webinars involving leaders with direct experience in topics related to substance use and virtual roundtable meetings involving researchers and practitioners. A key function of the CoP is to promote discussion of current evidence as well as protocols and best practices. Co/Lab has produced a series of evidence and practice briefs, as well as recorded webinars and presentations all of which can be found here. Co/Lab is housed at the Canadian Institute for Substance Use Research (CISUR) at the University of Victoria in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada and is funded by Health Canada, through the Substance Use and Addictions Program.

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!
(519) 660-0875 ext. 1264

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