By the Canadian Association for Safe Supply
Safe supply as a concept
- In regions of Canada where the tainted drug supply being a significant factor in overdose deaths, safe drugs can prevent overdose death.
- “Safe Supply” refers to legal and regulated drugs such as heroin and hydromorphone that perform as a substitute for illicit drugs. Unlike traditional substitution treatments, such as methadose, suboxone,and kadian, safe supply still provides the mind-altering properties that drug consumers seek in illicit drugs.
- Safe supply is not just a treatment for an individual at risk of overdose, but for the systemic issues that impact individuals and increase overdose risk (criminalization, contaminated drugs).
- Similar to how the Canadian government controls and distributes alcohol, providing a regulated safe supply of opioid and/or stimulant drugs reduces overdose death.
- People that use stimulant drugs like cocaine, crack, and methamphetamine are also at risk of overdose from fentanyl contaminants. Safe supply means providing pharmaceutical grade cocaine and methamphetamine, not just opioids.
- Safe Supply means that service providers re-conceptualize safe use practices (using sterile equipment, narcan) to include using a safe substance of known potency.
- For it to be effective it has to be available: barriers reduce accessibility.
- Safe supply is a catalyst to getting people in touch with harm reduction, housing, and healthcare services.