Implementation Science Supporting the Scale-Up of Supervised Consumption Services in Canada

As a result of the national overdose crisis, Canada has seen rapid scale-up of supervised consumption services (SCS) in the past three years, and the country is now home to 39 federally sanctioned services, with additional sites pending approval. Little research has examined the features or context of emerging SCS models. Additionally, despite concerns about overdose and other drug-related harm across Canada, implementation of SCS to date has been limited to just 4/13 provincial/territorial jurisdictions. The present implementation science project was designed to support further implementation and evaluation of SCS in Canada.

Our study includes three specific initiatives:

1) The development of a national evidence-based guidance document with companion plain language resources targeting communities and service providers considering implementing SCS

2) The development of in-depth, mixed-method case studies of innovative service models

3) The creation and distribution of a national-level survey of SCS operators to characterize variation in SCS implementation across Canada

Outputs of these initiatives will provide prospective SCS operators with access to both technical guidance and knowledge translation products designed to enhance public and policymaker understanding of these services. In addition, this project will produce new knowledge on the state of SCS in Canada.

Study Lead: Elaine Hyshka (principal investigator) and Cassandra Husband (research coordinator)

Funding Support: CIHR

Status: Ongoing