Safe Supply

"The prescribing practices described in this evaluation – safe supply medications and managed alcohol, for unwitnessed consumption – are a recent development. While the relative safety of medications and alcohol dispensed for unwitnessed consumption has not been previously well-described in the literature, the practice is an extension of the evidence from witnessed consumption settings (Bonn et al., 2021; Brothers et al., 2022; Tyndall, 2020; Hales et al., 2020; Bonn et al., 2021). Witnessed injectable OAT (iOAT) with liquid hydromorphone or diacetylmorphine (Heroin) has a robust evidence-based and has been incorporated into Canadian clinical practice guidelines for opioid use disorder (Oviedo-Joekes et al., 2016; Fairbairn et al., 2019). Qualitative studies have evaluated the benefits of witnessed hydromorphone tablet consumption, which is more flexible and less resource-intensive than witnessed iOAT (Ivsins et al., 2021; Ivsins et al., 2020). A recent study from Ottawa, Canada, describes positive outcomes for people with severe opioid use disorder who are provided hydromorphone iOAT along with supported housing (Harris et al., 2021). Benefits of managed alcohol programs are also clearly established for people with severe alcohol use disorder, and particularly people who drink non-beverage alcohol (Stockwell et al., 2021; Stockwell et al., 2018; Crabtree et al., 2018). Some existing managed alcohol programs include once-daily alcohol dispensing and/or unwitnessed ingestion (Pauly et al., 2018)."


Brothers, T. D., Leaman, M., Bonn, M., Lewer, D., Atkinson, J., Fraser, J., Gillis, A., Gniewek, M., Hawker, L., Hayman, H., Jorna, P., Martell, D., O'Donnell, T., Rivers-Bowerman, H., & Genge, L. (2022). Evaluation of an emergency safe supply drugs and managed alcohol program in COVID-19 isolation hotel shelters for people experiencing homelessness. Drug and alcohol dependence, 235, 109440.