Safer Supply Ottawa

Purpose-driven projects and activities that serve our mission.

What is Safer Supply?

Prior to COVID-19, the overdose crisis devastated communities. Since the pandemic, this crisis has only escalated. The illegal drug supply contains strong opioids, such as fentanyl and other toxic substances resulting in high rates of overdoses and deaths.

Safer Supply Programs are an extension of the traditional public health and harm-reduction approaches to address opioid overdoses and related deaths by providing legal and safer prescribed pharmaceutical-grade drug supplies to people who use drugs (PWUD). Safer supply takes an evidence-informed approach to harm reduction that includes safer doses of opioid medication prescribed and monitored by primary care providers as an alternative to the toxicity of ‘street’ drugs. Safer supply programs aim to reduce overdose risk, prevent deaths, and provide accessible health care and social support.

Safer Supply Ottawa currently has 478 program participants, with an ever-growing need to expand


decrease in program participate fentanyl use


decrease in program participant stimulant use


program participants reported no overdoses

“…since starting, my life has changed for the better. I am housed, I don’t commit crimes anymore, I don’t beg for money, and I am not overdosing on fentanyl anymore.”

– Safer Supply Ottawa Participant

Safer Supply OTTAWA (SSO)

As a recipient of a Health Canada grant, Pathways to Recovery is the pilot project lead, bringing five community partners together to enhance access to a robust collection of health and social services in the Ottawa Region. This dynamic partnership allows program participants to be matched with a protocol that best suits their needs and eight locations for point-of-care access. Safer Supply Ottawa focuses on a team-based, person-centred approach with a community-based model of care. Our program offers comprehensive wrap-around social services to support patients on their pathway to recovery.

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Who is Safer Supply For?

For PWUD with an ongoing, self-reported high risk of illicit substance use, opioid-use disorder, and previous unsuccessful treatments.

Safer Supply Impact

Safer Supply Ottawa is one of several nationwide currently collecting evidence on the program’s effectiveness.  While it is still early, research findings have been promising and indicate several positive outcomes:

  • Decreased or no incidence of overdose
  • Reduction in illicit substance use
  • Reduction in hospital stays or emergency room visits
  • Improved linkage to primary medical care
  • Improved linkage to housing and other social service supports
  • Decreased criminal activity 
  • Reductions in infections
  • Reported overall improvement of health and wellbeing.

To learn more about the early findings of Safer Supply, visit the Government of Canada website.

62% of clients surveyed in the SSO Program reported feeling positive outcomes as a result.

53% of SSO program respondents reported a reduction or cessation of Fentanyl.

43 program participants were assisted in successfully achieving housing.

How is SaferR Supply Ottawa Funded?

SSO is the recipient of a Health Canada Substance Use and Addictions (SUAP) Grant. The grant is currently for 2020-2023.
We need supporters like you to continue funding the program beyond March 2023.
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45 Montreal Road
Vanier, ON K1L 6E8

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To improve the health and wellness of individuals while helping families and communities better understand the challenges of substance use health, complex mental health disorders, and illness from infectious diseases.

*Please note that Pathways to Recovery does not directly provide clinical services. If you are in crisis, please call 911 or visit your nearest Emergency Department.