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Update of Evidence-Based Best Practice Recommendations for Harm Reduction Programs that Provide Harm Reduction Equipment to People Who Use Drugs

PI and project team: Strike, C., Watson, T.M, Miskovic, M., & Challacombe, L.

In response to the growing harms from injecting and smoking psychoactive drugs affecting communities across Ontario and Canada, in 2013 and 2015, a cross-regional, multidisciplinary team of researchers, service users, service providers, and policymakers created the first national-level set of Best Practice Recommendations for needle and syringe programs (NSPs) and other harm reduction programs in Canada. The documents featured evidence syntheses and practical service recommendations related to topics such as the distribution and disposal of drug injection and smoking equipment, overdose prevention services, and varied service model options. Extensive knowledge translation activities were undertaken, resulting in high uptake of the recommendations. In recent years, the scientific literature about these harms and related programming has greatly expanded. This project responds to requests from service providers from across Ontario and Canada for an updated set of best practice recommendations, with particular focus on drug use equipment distribution and overdose education. This project will use an adapted version of the narrative synthesis methods used to develop the first set of recommendations to add and modify them.