Canada continues to experience a fatal overdose epidemic resulting from the contamination of the unregulated drug supply. This has led to growing calls for piloting the provision of safer opioid supply programs (also known as safe supply), which are an extension of standard medication-assisted treatments such as methadone and buprenorphine/naloxone. In 2019, the CDPE published a commentary in the Canadian Journal of Public Health supporting the expansion of alternatives for pharmaceutical grade opioid options for people who use opioids. More recently, the CDPE participated in a scoping review on barriers to safer supply programs during COVID-19. Safer opioid supply regimens typically include an extended-release morphine sulfate and immediate release hydromorphone doses to offset or replace use of the contaminated unregulated drug supply and to thereby prevent overdose. An investment from Health Canada in September 2020 has scaled-up safer opioid supply programs.

Under the auspices of the Integrated Supervised Injection Services Evaluation, the CDPE is undertaking an evaluation of safer opioid supply programs in partnership with community healthcare agencies in downtown Toronto. This evaluation aims to uncover the impact of safer opioid supply programs by measuring health, social, and legal outcomes.

Financial Supporters

St. Michael’s Hospital Foundation


Moss Park Consumption and Treatment Service | Parkdale Queen West Community Health Centre | Regent Park Community Health Centre | South Riverdale Community Health Centre | Street Health | The Works at Toronto Public Health

Project Contact

Dr. Jeanette Bowles