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To our members,

Over the next couple of months, the National Safer Supply Community of Practice (NSS-CoP) will be winding down as our SUAP funding comes to an end on March 31st, 2024. Over the course of the past 3 years, together we have built a community of over 1,600 people from across Canada, and together we have supported each other to advocate for, learn about, implement, and evaluate a medicalized model of safer supply as one tool to support people who use drugs.

Although we continue to seek funding opportunities to support the NSS-CoP, we are confident that several elements will be sustained without the CoP team: our website will continue as a place for you to find the many resources we have collectively created (e.g., our webinars and documents) and, most importantly, the relationships we’ve built will continue to be a source of support, strength, and solidarity during this uncertain time.
February and March will be busy months, and we hope that you will join us in the many workshops and webinars we will be hosting. Stay tuned for an announcement about a Town Hall Celebration that we are currently planning in March and the release of our final working group reports. It’s time for us to celebrate the magic of community and the power of sharing knowledge and experience and growing together!
With gratitude for each of you,
The NSS-CoP team

On January 22nd, we hosted our first webinar of 2024Safer Supply Ottawa Evaluation: Fall 2023 Report. This presentation provided 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.

Speakers from the University of Ottawa, School of Nursing:

  • Marlene Haines, RN PhD(c), Research Associate
  • Emily Hill, Peer Consultant
  • Athena Tefoglou, RN, Research Associate

A Q & A session followed the presentation. Click here for the recording, full report, 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, February 7th 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, 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!

Join us on Thursday, February 29th at 12pm ET for the Hot Topic WebinarEthics of Prescribed Safer Supply. This webinar will feature presentations followed by a discussion on the ethics of prescribed safer supply. More details to come!

Moderator: Dr. Adrian Guta

Speakers: Dr. Alice Virani and Dr. Daniel Buchman

This is a public webinar and everyone is welcome to attend! Closed captioning will be provided in English. Register now!

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!
Safer Supply Ottawa Evaluation: Fall 2023 Report: Safer Supply Ottawa seeks to directly address concerns surrounding the toxic unregulated drug supply through the prescription of pharmaceutical-grade opioids and stimulants. This report presents an overview of the Safer Supply Ottawa program, as well as the results of a program evaluation conducted in the summer of 2023. Read the full report here.

Bridging Communities, Saving Lives in Nelson - CDPC and R.E.D.U.N: Nelson, B.C.'s R.E.D.U.N. provides crucial support to current and former drug users, as well as their friends, family, and supporters. R.E.D.U.N. is a proactive response to a significant number of losses in the community. The program meets people where they are at, supporting individuals' safety and well-being if they use drugs, as well as distributing essential harm reduction supplies, safer sex materials, water, and snacks. Beyond their lifesaving harm reduction work, R.E.D.U.N. provides a meaningful platform for people who use/d drugs to contribute to their community. Learn more about community efforts to reduce harm from the unregulated drug overdose crisis in the Kootenays. Read the full community report here.

Urgent and Long Overdue: Legal Reform and Drug Decriminalization in Canada - Royal Society of Canada Task Force on COVID-19: The International Guidelines on Human Rights and Drug Policy recommend that States commit to adopting a balanced, integrated, and human rights-based approach to drug policy through a set of foundational human rights principles, obligations arising from human rights standards, and obligations arising from the human rights of particular groups. Following two years of consultation with stakeholders, including people who use drugs, NGOs, legal and human rights experts, UN technical agencies and Member States, the Guidelines “do not invent new rights. Rather, they apply existing human rights law to the legal and policy context of drug control to maximize human rights protections, including in the interpretation and implementation of the drug control conventions.” In respect of the Guidelines and its obligations under UN human rights treaties, Canada must adopt stronger and more specific commitments for a human rights-based, people-centered and public health approach. This approach must commit to the removal of criminal penalties for simple possession and a comprehensive health-based approach to drug regulation. Download the full report now.
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!
Slaunwhite, A., et al. (2024). Effect of Risk Mitigation Guidance opioid and stimulant dispensations on mortality and acute care visits during dual public health emergencies: retrospective cohort study | BMJ

Objective: To determine the effect of opioid and stimulant Risk Mitigation Guidance (RMG) dispensations on mortality and acute care visits during the dual public health emergencies of overdose and covid-19.

Participants: 5882 people with opioid or stimulant use disorder who received RMG prescriptions for opioids (n=5356) and/or stimulants (n=1061) (535 received both) from 27 March 2020 to 31 August 2021.

Results: RMG opioid dispensations of one day or more were associated with reduced all cause mortality (adjusted hazard ratio 0.39, 95% confidence interval 0.25 to 0.60) and overdose related mortality (0.45, 0.27 to 0.75) in the subsequent week. Dispensations of RMG stimulants (≥1 days) were not significantly associated with reduced all cause mortality (adjusted hazard ratio 0.50, 0.20 to 1.23) or overdose related mortality (0.53, 0.18 to 1.56). The protective effect of RMG opioid dispensations increased with the number of days the medications were dispensed in a given week. People who received four or more days of RMG opioid dispensations had reduced all cause mortality (adjusted hazard ratio 0.09, 0.04 to 0.21) and overdose related mortality (0.11, 0.04 to 0.32) compared with the control group. Opioid RMG dispensations did not significantly modify the odds of all cause or overdose related acute care visits. Dispensations of RMG stimulants were associated with a significant decrease in the odds of acute care visits for any cause but did not affect the odds of overdose related acute care visits.

Conclusions: RMG opioid dispensations were associated with reduced overdose related and all cause mortality among a sample of people with opioid use disorder. Pharmaceutical alternatives to the illegal drug supply are promising interventions to reduce mortality in people with opioid use disorder.
Kolla, G., et al. (2024). Substance use care innovations during COVID-19: barriers and facilitators to the provision of safer supply at a Toronto COVID-19 isolation and recovery site | Harm Reduction Journal

Fleming, T., et al. (2024). Perceptions of prospective pharmaceutical stimulant substitution treatments among people who use illicit stimulants in Vancouver, Canada | International Journal of Drug Policy

Fleming, T., et al. (2024). Using alone at home: What’s missing in housing-based responses to the overdose crisis? | Harm Reduction Journal

Holland, A., et al. (2024). “Safer supply” alternatives to toxic unregulated drug markets | BMJ

Moon, K. J., et al. (2024). Enhancing drug checking services for supply monitoring: perspectives on implementation in syringe service programs in the USA | Harm Reduction Journal

German, D., et al. (2024). Reported xylazine exposure highly associated with overdose outcomes in a rapid community assessment among people who inject drugs in Baltimore | Harm Reduction Journal

Fixler, A. L., et al. (2024). There goes the neighborhood? The public safety enhancing effects of a mobile harm reduction intervention | International Journal of Drug Policy
National and General News: British Columbia:
Yukon, Northwest Territories, and Nunavut: Quebec (et en français s'il vous plaît!):
Atlantic Region (Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador):

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