Substance Use News September 2019


Substance Use News provides a snapshot of news and resources for those working to support folks who use substances. We share pieces on the social, medical and political responses to the opioid crisis, from advocacy to welcome change. See our Drug Use and Overdose Response page for resources on overdose services, team resilience, governmental reports, policy recommendations, and more.



UBC physician calls for safe drug supply

Dr. Derek Chang joins a growing chorus of doctors and activists asking for a safe drug supply. He speaks with Stephen Quinn. (6:30) Listen now


Episode 8 from Crackdown: The Cost of Cereal 

Men are dying at a higher rate than women during the opioid crisis, which means women sometimes get left out of the conversation. Episode 8 of Crackdown features a visit to SisterSpace, North America’s first women-only safe consumption site. (37:33) Listen now


Drugs and Gender

The drugs we choose – legal and illicit – and the ways we use them, are at least partly determined by gender expectations. This episode explores how those expectations affect our relationships with drugs. From the series, On Drugs, produced by CBC. (33:00)  Listen now



New release: national clinical guideline for Injectable opioid agonist treatment for opioid use disorder

The national clinical guideline for Injectable opioid agonist treatment for opioid use disorder provides 3 key recommendations focused on defining the patient population that should be considered for injectable opioid agonist treatment and outlining considerations for medication selection and length of treatment. Learn more


Fight for safe supply of drugs is ‘this generation’s Insite,’ advocates say

Two long-time activists see significant similarities between the current fight for a safe supply of drugs and the fight for Insite, Vancouver’s — and North America’s — first legal supervised consumption site. Learn more


Vancouver mayor calls on federal leaders to act on overdose crisis

Kennedy Stewart is aiming for a Health Canada exemption from federal drug laws so diacetylmorphine, a safe substitute opioid, could be distributed through a non-profit organization to prevent overdose deaths from potentially dangerous drugs laced with fentanyl. Learn more


Practical Drug Decriminalization in British Columbia

Pivot Legal Society has released a position paper on practical drug decriminalization in BC. The Province has significant powers to address the enforcement of federal drug laws. As their position paper explains, BC can and must amend provincial policing legislation to divert police resources away from low-level drug law enforcement. Learn more


Lessons from a naloxone kit

A doctor in training writes about working in addictions services at St. Paul’s hospital in Vancouver. “The beginnings of those struggling with opioids are as varied as the people who call the Downtown Eastside home.”  Learn more


Stable housing critical to kicking addiction say users, experts

“If we can assure someone safe housing they then begin to feel safe and then they begin to deal with recovery issues,” says community worker Jack Wagner. Learn more


Stigma — the words we choose do matter

“I encourage you to think about the language you use and how that might impact someone living with a substance use disorder. Think about how that language would sound to a mother who just lost a son, or someone grieving the loss of their best friend.” Learn more


Learn More

Visit our Drug Use and Overdose Response page


Questions? Feedback? Get in touch! Janet Madsen, Capacity Building  and Knowledge Translation Coordinator, [email protected]





Focus image by Andrew, Flickr (Creative Commons)