“Innovating Beyond Exclusively Medicalized Approaches” Policy Brief and Recommendations

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The Canadian Civil Society Advancing Safe Supply Working Group is a coalition of national, provincial, territorial and regional stakeholders with expertise in drug use, policy, research, and medical and non-medical models of safe supply. This policy brief articulates the limitations of, and the harms of over-emphasizing, medicalized models for safe supply, and proposes recommendations for advancing non-medicalized models for the supply, distribution, and access to safer alternatives to the increasingly toxic unregulated drug supply.

Following the recommendations in this brief will enhance the health, safety and autonomy of people who use drugs, and will positively impact the broader community.

This policy brief was first shared with the office of the Federal Minister of Mental Health and Addictions (MMHA) in February 2023, but as of October 2023, there has been no direct response from the MMHA regarding these recommendations.

While the brief is hosted on the Canadian Drug Policy Coalition’s website, the working group was not led by CDPC and consists of the following organizations:

  • Alberta Alliance Who Educate and Advocate Responsibly

  • Alberta Community Council on HIV

  • Association des intervenants en dépendance du Québec

  • Avenue B

  • Boyle Street Community Services

  • Canadian Association of People Who Use Drugs

  • Canadian Drug Policy Coalition

  • Blood Ties Four Directions Centre

  • Drug Users Liberation Front

  • Harm Reduction Nurses Association

  • HIV Legal Network

  • BC Interior Health

  • Manitoba Harm Reduction Network