Woman during a sunset. Image overlain with graphic banner reading "stimulus connect"

Stimulus Connect 20: Reporting Done Right

Woman during a sunset. Image overlain with graphic banner reading "stimulus connect"

Stimulus Connect 19: Prisons

Woman during a sunset. Image overlain with graphic banner reading "stimulus connect"

Stimulus Connect 18: Connecting with Connect

Woman during a sunset. Image overlain with graphic banner reading "stimulus connect"

Stimulus Connect 17: Emergency

March 3, 2022

Harm Reduction groups have never had to deal with this much disaster and chaos. The mess has included climate change, toxic drug supply injury and deaths, multiple loss, COVID-19, conservative governments, convoys and occupations, supply chain disruptions and NIMBY surveillance.

Your organization may have a dusty Y2K emergency plan or none at all, join us as we Connect on Emergency: Safety For Harm Reduction Staff and Volunteers (Part 1)


  1. MAX Ottawa presentation: Harm Reducation & Organizational Safety Planning
  2. Resource: Critical Incident Support [Although this webpage is a resource for people connected to Simon Fraser University (of which CDPC is) we believe it still holds value]
  3. USA Media: Climate Scientists Warn of a ‘Global Wildfire Crisis’: Worsening heat and dryness could lead to a 50 percent rise in off-the-charts fires, according to a United Nations report. February 23, 2022
  4. Media: ‘A heroic effort that went unrecognized’: Harm reduction workers facing their own burnout, February 22, 2022
  5. Listen: Higher Ground Harm Reduction: A conversation with Christine Rodriguez, Our team at Shareable has been working with Higher Ground Harm Reduction to explore how community-based harm reduction programs (and people who use drugs) are impacted by, preparing for, responding to, and recovering from climate-related and other systems-disrupting emergencies (like the pandemic)December 9, 2020
  6. Podcast: Crackdown
  7. Tools
    1. Non-Profit Business Continuity Management Plan Toolkit, 2021
    2. COVID-19: How to include marginalized and vulnerable people in risk communication and community engagement, March 2020
    3. Emergency Planning for Nonprofits Resources to guide organizations through response and preparation, August 2020
    4. The Resilient Organization: A Guide to Nonprofit Disaster Preparedness, 2020
    5. The Resilient Organization: A Guide to Disaster Preparedness for your Staff and Volunteers, 2020
    6. The Resilient Organization: A Guide to Nonprofit Disaster Recovery. 2020
    7. The Resilient Organization: A Guide to IT Disaster Recovery, July 2019
    8. Be Prepared for a Nuclear Explosion, March 2018
    9. Disaster planning and recovery worksheets (contact management and phone tree. disaster box content, inventory, recovery, etc.)
    10. Workplace Emergency Preparedness Info Sheet, September 2019 from actsafe.ca
    11. Emergency Action Plan template, 2016
    12. Nonprofit Volunteer Safety Manual, 2014
    13. Emergency Planning Guidelines for Nonprofits by Safe-Wise Consulting, 2010
    14. Service Continuity Plan Template for Community-Based Organizations, November 2009
    15. Emergency Preparedness Guide for People with Disablities / Special Needs, 2007
    16. How to Plan for Workplace Emergencies and Evacuations, 2001

Speakers for Stimulus Connect 16

Stimulus Connect 16: Thresholds and Necessity Trafficking

Decriminalization Done Right: A Rights-Based Path for Drug Policy was collaboratively developed by 21 civil society groups composed of people who use drugs and their respective organizations as well as non-governmental organizations throughout Canada. The platform was released to the public in December 2021; and since its release, many individuals who share its vision for drug policy reform in Canada have endorsed its call to action.

One of its key recommendations relates to necessity trafficking and drug thresholds, and it has become increasingly clear that there is a lack of understanding in both areas. Why are they misunderstood by so many Canadians yet imperative to people who use drugs? Stimulus Connect 16 aims to clear this confusion.

Our expert panel will explain how thresholds and necessity trafficking preserve life rather than feeding the war on drugs and will answer attendee questions.


Additions from within the event:

  1. Report: Rethinking the Drug Dealer, December 17, 2019
  2. Watch: Drug Seller Stories, March 19, 2019
  3. Letter: VANDU and Pivot’s position on threshold amounts in Vancouver’s application to decriminalize, March 15, 2021
  4. Media: How Police Drug Seizures Are Making Life Worse on the Downtown Eastside VPD claims not to target users. September 18. 2020
  5. Organization: Stella 
  6. Organization: MAPS Canada
  7. Journal Article: Too Many Hats? The Role of Police Officers in Drug Enforcement and the Community, January 2022
  8. Resource: Alternative Model to Drug Criminalization in Toronto, January 2022
  9. Platform: Decriminalization Done Right: A Rights-Based Path for Drug Policy: Canada’s first civil society platform for the decriminalization of drugs developed by 21 national organizations and people at the centre of the drug poisoning/overdose crisis, December 2021
  10. Organizational Sign On: National Civil Society Decriminalization Platform Sign-On 
  11. Media: Toronto Board of Health votes to decriminalize possession of small amounts of illegal drugs, December, 2021
  12. Blog: R v Ellis: A New Frontier for Sentencing Drug Trafficking Offences. November 2021
  13. Podcast: Crackdown
  14. Previous Stimulus Connect: Stimulus Connect 14: Drug Decrim Canada, September 2021
  15. Resource: Read Between the Lines. September 2021
  16. Report: ACT NOW! Decriminalizing Drugs in Vancouver, September 2021
  17. CAPUD‘s decriminalization litigation
  18. Manuscript: How to decriminalize drugs: the design features of a non-criminal response to the personal possession of drugs, August 2021
  19. Media: Thresholds for 15 drugs outlined in decriminalization plan sent by Vancouver to Health Canada, June 1, 2021
  20. Tool: Comparing models of drug decriminalisation
  21. Interactive Map: Drug Decriminalisation Across the World, June 2021
  22. Expert Task Force on Substance Use: Reports
  23. Journal Article: Proposals for Decriminalization of Illicit Drug Use: Considering a Combination of déjà-vu, Diversion and Devil-with-many-details for Health-oriented Policy Reform, May 2021
  24. Report: Drug Decriminalisation: Progress or Political Red Herring? Assessing the Impact of Current Models of Decriminalisation on People Who Use Drugs, April 2021
  25. Letter: Threshold amounts in Vancouver’s application to decriminalize drug possession (A joint open letter of Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users and Pivot Legal Society), March 15, 2021
  26. Journal Article: Policy Brief: CSAM in Support of the Decriminalization of Drug Use and Possession for Personal Use, March 2021
  27. Statement: Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users & Pivot Legal Society Joint Statement: We Support a Vancouver Motion to Request a Federal Exemption to Fully Decriminalize Drug Possession, November 2020
  28. Tool: Decriminalizing People Who Use Drugs: A primer for municipal and Provincial Governments, November 2020
  29. Report: The impact of arrest and seizure on drug crime and harms: A systematic review, September 2020
  30. Journal Article: Drug Decriminalization: A Matter of Justice and Equity, Not Just Health, January 2020
  31. Guidelines: International Guidelines on Human Rights and Drug Policy, May 2019
  32. Report: Is Decriminalisation Enough? Drug User Community Voices from Portugal, September 2018
  33. Journal Article: Visual and narrative representations of mental health and addiction by law enforcement, July 2015
  34. Resource: A New Approach to Managing Illegal Psychoactive Substances in Canada: Canadian Public Health Discussion Paper, May 2014

Stimulus Connect 15: Spotting

October 20, 2021

Join us for the launch of an educational animation about spotting—an overdose prevention method done by phone or video call. This new resource from CAPUD is available in both official languages and provides an step by step guide about spotting. Meet the team that created the animation and learn more about how spotting may help your community.


  1. Journal Article: A qualitative study on overdose response in the era of COVID-19 and beyond: how to spot someone so they never have to use alone, August 5, 2021
  2. Journal Article: Developing a digital health strategy for people who use drugs- Lessons from COVID-19, 2021
  3. Journal Article: A drug-related Good Samaritan Law and calling emergency medical services for drug overdoses in a Canadian setting, August 26, 2021
  4. Services that provide spotting services: BRAVENational Overdose Response Services (NORS)
  5. Infographic: How to remote spot someone who uses drugs
  6. Report: Grenfell Ministries Overdose Prevention Line Pilot Evaluation, 2020
  7. Blog: How we can help keep people who use drugs alive during COVID-19, August 4, 2020
  8. Media: Virtual ‘spotting’ could help keep drug users safe during COVID-19, U of T researchers say, April 16, 2021
  9. Media: Drug-User Groups Innovate to Reduce the Risks of Using While Isolated, May 18, 2020
Three people standing outside BC Supreme Court holding a piece of paper

Stimulus Connect 14: Drug Decrim Canada

September 23, 2021

It’s time to decriminalize drugs across Canada. The Canadian Association of People Who Use Drugs (CAPUD) is suing Canada to remove criminal penalties on drug use!

In response to the ongoing overdose epidemic that has killed tens of thousands of Canadians, CAPUD is suing the Government of Canada to remove the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA) penalties (decriminalize), all forms of drug possession, and some forms of drug trafficking. These criminal penalties create various harms for people who use drugs (PWUD) and prevent PWUDs from accessing medical treatment and harm reduction.

The Legal Case

CAPUD is seeking to have all references to drug possession struck from the CDSA. CAPUD and the co-plaintiffs are also seeking to have references to drug trafficking (the sale of drugs) interpreted to remove trafficking when a PWUD sells drugs due to necessity. Necessity might include situations where a PWUD sells a supply they have that they know is safe or when they sell solely to make enough money to support themselves.

Full decriminalization across Canada for several drug activities (possession and necessity trafficking) is needed to stop the deadly epidemic. Read their Notice of Civil Claim.

Please consider donating to this cause to help support CAPUD and these brave individuals with this litigation or sharing this gofundme page to spread the word about the action and the movement for drug decriminalization. To learn more, please go to drugdecrimcanada.com or watch for the hashtag #DrugDecrimCanada on social media.

A crowd of people with signs raising their fists at a rally

Stimulus Connect 13: Recognizing Expertise

June 23, 2021

This Stimulus Connect will present the findings from the CAPUD Best Practices in Meaningful and Respectful Engagement of People Who Use Drugs (Best Practices Project), led by the Canadian Association of People who Use Drugs (CAPUD) and the Canadian Drug Policy Coalition. We will share the study findings, discuss the implications for organizations, and encourage self-reflection and self-assessment on the extent to which best practices have and should be implemented. Participants will be encouraged to thoughtfully consider the (mis)match between their good intentions and the lived realities of PWUD who either work in harm reduction organizations or attend conferences/meetings.


  1. Slides: Recognizing Expertise, June 23, 2021
  2. Report: Report on Resistance #2: Ethical Substance Use Navigation
  3. Report: Impacts of Overdose on Front – Line Harm Reduction Workers in the City of Toronto, February 19, 2021
  4. Journal Article: Peer support workers as a bridge: a qualitative study exploring the role of peer support workers in the care of people who use drugs during and after hospitalization, February 16, 2021
  5. Journal Article: “Running myself ragged”: stressors faced by peer workers in overdose response settings, February 11, 2021
  6. Journal Article: “And we just have to keep going”: Task shifting and the production of burnout among overdose response workers with lived experience, February 2021
  7. Journal Article: “It’s an emotional roller coaster… But sometimes it’s fucking awesome”: Meaning and motivation of work for peers in overdose response environments in British Columbia, February 2021
  8. Journal Article: Having a voice and saving lives: a qualitative survey on employment impacts of people with lived experience of drug use working in harm reduction, January 6, 2021
  9. Guidelines: Guidelines for Partnering with People with Lived and Living Experience of Substance Use and Their Families and Friends, 2021
  10. Journal Article: Essential work, precarious labour: The need for safer and equitable harm reduction work in the era of COVID-19, December 10, 2020
  11. Journal Article: ‘Peer’ work as precarious: A qualitative study of work conditions and experiences of people who use drugs engaged in harm reduction work, November 2020
  12. Journal Article: Supporting the full participation of people who use drugs in policy fora: Provision of a temporary, conference-based overdose prevention site, October 2020
  13. Journal Article: Defining culturally safe primary care for people who use substances: a participatory concept mapping study, 2020
  14. Journal Article: “Having a voice and saving lives” A survey by and for people who use drugs and work in harm reduction, July 2019
  15. Journal Article:   Harm Reduction Services: Recommendations for Overdose Prevention at Meetings and Events, January 2019
  16. Journal Article: Drug users deserve fair pay for overdose prevention work, report recommends, October 4, 2018
  17. Tool: Trauma-and Violence-Informed Care (TVIC) Tool, March 14, 2018
  18. Reports: Stimulus 2018: Drugs, Policy and Practice in Canada, 2018
  19. Journal Article: Peering into the literature: A systematic review of the roles of people who inject drugs in harm reduction initiatives, June 1, 2015
  20. Journal Article: Mobilizing drug policy activism: conferences, convergence spaces and ephemeral fixtures in social movement mobilization, August 11, 2015
  21. Journal Article: Engaging people who use drugs in policy and program development: A review of the literature, November 24, 2012
a bottle of pills on an orange background

Stimulus Connect 12: Benefits of Stimulants

Benefits of stimulants benefits of stimulants

May 13, 2021

In Canada, drug discussions are often centred around how using drugs from the illegal market is dangerous. However, there is much evidence to suggest otherwise.

“Eighty to 90 percent of people are not negatively affected by drugs, but in the scientific literature nearly 100 percent of the reports are negative,” Dr. Carl Hart said.

Join us as we connect about the benefits of taking stimulants.


  1. News: New project tests harm reduction strategies for methamphetamine use in hospitals, April 26, 2021
  2. News: New study looks at how to address methamphetamine use through harm reduction in hospitals, April 23, 2021
  3. News: On Canada’s East Coast, an Unexplained Influx of Pure Cocaine, March 25, 2021
  4. News: Doctors Call For Safer Cocaine Supply, March 3, 2021
  5. Webpage: Opioid and Stimulant-related Harms in Canada, March, 2021
  6. Watch: Narratives of Meth, Crime and Punishment in a Time of ‘Crisis’, February 26, 2021
  7. Journal Article: Stimulant safe supply: a potential opportunity to respond to the overdose epidemic, January 10, 2020
  8. Report: The Crystal Methamphetamine Project, November 2020
  9. International Resource: How to Regulate Stimulants, October 20, 2020
  10. Journal Article: Pharmacotherapeutic strategies for treating cocaine use disorder—what do we have to offer?, September 4, 2020
  11. Journal Article: Prescription psychostimulants for the treatment of stimulant use disorder: a systematic review and meta-analysis, June 29, 2020
  12. Watch: Crystal Meth Webinar Series 2020 from the Wellington Guelph Drug Strategy
  13. Report: Informing Responses to Harms Related to Methamphetamine Use with Lessons from Public Health Crises, 2020
  14. Report: Methamphetamine, the Respiratory System and COVID-19, 2020
  15. Journal Article: CATCH Amphetamine for Cocaine Use Disorder Nuijten et al. Lancet 2016, March 22, 2016
  16. Journal Article: Sustained-release dexamfetamine in the treatment of chronic cocaine-dependent patients on heroin-assisted treatment: a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, May 28, 2016
  17. Journal Article: Extended-Release Mixed Amphetamine Salts vs Placebo
    for Comorbid Adult Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder and Cocaine Use Disorder, June 2015
  18. Brochure: A Guide to Staying Off Crystal for a Day or Longer: Practical tips from gay and bisexual men, 2013
  19. Journal Article: A Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Trial of Sustained-Release Dextroamphetamine for Treatment of Methamphetamine Addiction, December 22, 2010
  20.  International Resource – 10 Facts About Methamphetamines
Sign that reads "our pandemic is being ignored"

Stimulus Connect 10 & 11: Impact of the Pandemic on People Who Use Drugs

Part 2 on March 24, 2021

Canada was experiencing a massive wave of overdoses, but with 2020 came the COVID-19 pandemic which made unprecedented impact on people’s lives. There are changes to the illegal drug market and even higher rates of overdoses, changes to income and material security and the lack of ability to physically distance. People are living through reduced access to technology and services, and feeling increased isolation, criminalization and homelessness. COVID-19 has brought Canada pandemic prescribing and specialized shelters instead of the needed safe supply and permanent housing.

Public health in Canada responded dramatically to the COVID-19 crisis and not the overdose crisis. Join us for the Impact of the Pandemic on People Who Use Drugs: Part 2 as we connect.

If you are not bilingual you may find value in accessing this alternative audio recording of the simultaneous interpretation. This recording is 16 seconds (0.16) earlier than the video.

(Part 1, February 18)

If you are not bilingual you may find value in accessing this alternative audio recording of the simultaneous interpretation. This recording is 17 seconds (0.17) earlier than the video.