April 30th, 2020 marked the the National day of Action on the Overdose Crisis, and a resurgence of our actions on this cause.
To this point, as the COVID-19 pandemic surges through our nation, we must not forget the drug-poisoning crisis that is ever pervasive.
In 2019, more than 3,000 Canadians died of an apparent opioid overdose. Simply put, the drug-supply is poisoned. Advocates know that the only way to push back against the poisoned drug supply is access to a safe supply of drugs as a stepping stone towards decriminalization. (more info safe supply)
In the current climate of the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for safe supply is more dire than ever. As boarders close, access to a consistent drug supply dwindles and the drug supply becomes more contaminated. People are also being asked to practice physical distancing, increasing the likelihood of solo use, thus a heightened risk for fatal overdoses. As COVID-19 spreads through the community of people who use drugs, those affected by the respiratory symptoms are at an even higher risk of opiate overdose’s respiratory effects.
On March 26th 2020, the province of British Columbia, on seeing the increase of overdoses and contaminated drug supply, announced they will be providing a take home supply of regulated substances (or “safe supply”) to some residents who use drugs. This supply extends beyond opiates to include amphetamines and benzodiazepines. (CBC article)
We believe that all Canadians should have access to the same measures to protect their health, in the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. People who use drugs deserve access to a safe supply.
There are countless reasons people need a safe supply of drugs.
We ask you to share yours. In compiling peoples’ stories we aim to put pressure on health officials to create a national safe supply program to protect the health of Canadians who use drugs and recede the epidemic of overdose deaths.
What: Safe supply video campaign for Action on the Overdose Crisis. To raise awareness and put pressure on those in power, we are creating a collaborative video to send to Health Canada; Provincial Ministries of Health; and the Royal and Provincial Colleges of Physicians and Surgeons to demonstrate the need for a safe supply program across Canada. This will run in on conjunction with a social media campaign where people are encouraged to tag Health Canada and the College of Physician on social media.
View our teaser video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lG2CjkLN6iE&feature=youtu.be
For more information on how to participate Please see Instructions posted below
This is a part of a larger on-going action. For more details on other events please go to the facebook event page:
If you have any questions please contact us: THRAlliance@gmail.com
Record a video (30 secs in length, widescreen) with your completion of either of the following phrases:
“I/We/ my community/ Canadians who use drugs need(s) safe supply because ___________________ “
“ Without safe supply we/my community/Canadians who use drugs will________.”
Alternatively, videos can be done in memoriam
“If _________ had safe supply they could have _________”
Eg: “My community needs safe supply because we can’t keep ‘putting out fires’, we need a sustainable solution to eradicate these preventable deaths.”
This can be done individually or as a group. Places that are able, can set up a “speakers corner” and send multiple videos.
We acknowledge that not everyone may be comfortable being recorded, that doesn’t mean your message can’t be heard. Everyone’s voice is equally important and the more voices the better!
Videos can, but are not required to include faces or voices. For the purpose of anonymity, signs can be held up over faces while a person speaks or a bulletin board showing written answers with no audio can be submitted instead.
In your email, please include your name(alias), city, and affiliation or professional designation you would like us to put in your video. Videos can be submitted as anonymous however, in order to make the strongest impact we encourage participants with affiliations or designations that have “weight to them” to include those in their submission.
**If you run into issues submitting your video via email please let us know and we will give you temporary access to the google drive to upload. **
Please send videos by: May 25th
There will be other chances to submit as this will be an on-going campaign.
Note: by sending us your video, you are consenting to being put in the compilation video and sharing it to public officials and on social media. Video clips may also be shortened for the purpose of composition and time.
Toronto Harm Reduction Alliance