Stimulus Connect

What is Stimulus Connect

Stimulus Connect is not just another webinar, it is an opportunity for Canadian stakeholders in harm reduction and drug policy to come together, learn and network on specific topics. We strive to provide an online space where authentic connections are made on issues that affect us all. In addition to pulling together key contacts to discuss the topic we also gather related journal articles, resources, media and tools and provide these resources along with the #StimulusConnect recording on our website.

#StimulusConnect topics are curated in consultation with the Stimulus National Implementation and Planning (SNIP) Committee and their Executive Committee. A group of key stakeholders are then brought together to collaboratively plan the content, speakers and methods of each event. As with other Stimulus program activities we work from a framework of Nothing About Us Without Us. Stimulus Connects include English/French simultaneous interpretation.

Recognizing Expertise

Stimulus Connect 13

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, 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.

If you are not bilingual you may find value in accessing this alternative audio recording of the simultaneous interpretation. This recording is 4 seconds (0.04) earlier than the video.

In preparation we gathered a few resources, documents and media articles that you may be find helpful.

  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. Report: “Having a voice and saving lives” A survey by and for people who use drugs and work in harm reduction, July 2019
  15. Report: Harm Reduction Services: Recommendations for Overdose Prevention at Meetings and Events, January 2019
  16. Media: 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. Stimulus: Drugs, Policy and Practice in Canada reports, 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

Previous Stimulus Connects

a bottle of pills on an orange background

Stimulus Connect 12: Benefits of Stimulants

“80 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
Sign that reads "our pandemic is being ignored"

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

Canada was experiencing a massive wave of overdoses, but with 2020 came the COVID-19 pandemic which made unprecedented impact on people's lives.

Stimulus Connect 9: Harm Reduction & Drug Selling

Their work is varied, and some sellers contribute to harm reduction efforts through their role within the illegal drug market.
Naloxone kits arranged on a table

Stimulus Connect 8: Harm Reduction Tools for Parents and Caregivers

There are a range of factors, and layers of overlapping oppression that can challenge parents and caregivers who use substances.

Stimulus Connect 7: Walking the Walk

Facilitating meaningful inclusion of people who use drugs by offering attendance alone is a fail. Rather, people who use drugs must be stakeholders with equal standing in all aspects of implementing conferences and events
A sign reading "defund the police"

Stimulus Connect 6: Defunding the Police

Defund the Police has been a strong rally cry in the US and Canada. #StimulusConnect will discuss why defunding the police is an essential part of harm reduction based practice.

Stimulus Connect 5: My Safe Supply

Stimulus Connect 5 features Canadians who use drugs sharing how they want safe supply delivered. What does autonomy and access within safe supply mean? Please join us as we connect and learn from their experience in advocating for, trying to access safe supply and living with safe supply.

Stimulus Connect 4: Women, Drugs, Pregnancy and the State

There are a range of factors, and layers of overlapping oppression including sexism, racism, and classism, that lead women to need women-centred harm reduction programs and policies responsive to their lived realities.

Stimulus Connect 3: Support. Don’t Punish

International Day of Global Action for Support Don't Punish - a global grassroots campaign centred on raising the awareness of harm reduction policies, public health, and human rights. This year, CSSDP partnered with Support. Don't Punish, Stimulus Connect and Paradigma to facilitate two webinars on June 26, the Global Day of Action.


Stimulus: Drugs, Policy and Practice in Canada is a program of the Canadian Drug Policy Coalition. Sign up to their newsletter for updates on this program as well as their other work

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