Photo stolen from Canadian Drug Policy Coalition, with thanks.
KISS MOBILE e-OPS & OUTREACH PROGRAM
KISS was recently designated as an independent episodic overdose prevention site (e-OPS) by Interior Health, so starting on April 30th, 2023, we will be providing mobile e-OPS, outreach, and limited drug checking services in downtown Nelson three days a week. See you out there very soon!
KOOTENAY INDEPENDENT SAFE SUPPLY COMPASSION CLUB
Slowly but surely, we are making progress toward our primary goal of launching a non-medicalized, PWLLE-led safe supply compassion club program to serve the West Kootenay region. The obstacles to launching such a program in a rural and remote setting are numerous, and as we want to build something that is sustainable, ethical, and effective, we are progressing at the pace this delicate work demands. When we do launch, it will be with a small-scale, evaluated pilot, which you can read more about below.
As strongly as we believe in the compassion club model were pursuing, we also recognize that it will not be scalable in any meaningful way until Health Canada enables groups like ours to source substances legally and provides us with a Section 56 exemption from the Controlled Drug and Substances Act to allow us to distribute these substances to our members. To learn more about the work being done on these issues, please visit the website of our friends and comrades at DULF, who are in the midst of preparing for a judicial review of their unjustly denied Section 56 exemption application.
KOOTENAY INDEPENDENT SAFE SUPPLY EVALUATIVE STUDY (KISSES)
At the same time we launch our compassion club pilot, we will also launch a parallel evaluation of the program and its impacts on club members and the broader community. While there is a significant and growing body of evidence supporting the efficacy of safe supply programs in reducing risk of overdose/drug poisoning and promoting stabilization, improved health, and general well-being, the studies which produce this evidence tend to be conducted exclusively in urban settings, leaving those of us living in rural and remote communities without the kind of specifically applicable data we often need to convince decision-makers and the public that non-medicalized safe supply is both urgently needed and viable outside of urban centres.
The KISS Evaluative Study, which is being developed with the support and guidance of the British Columbia Centre on Substance Use, will generate precisely this kind of specifically applicable data, providing methodologically rigorous evidence that a non-medicalized, peer-led safe supply compassion club operating in a rural and remote community will not only save lives, but will also empower those individuals accessing our services to achieve increasing stability across various aspects of their lives. We're also confident that our evaluation of the compassion club will show many benefits to the broader community, as well, including reduced demand on emergency services, reduced involvement in illegal income-generating activities, and reduced public drug consumption.
HARM REDUCTION EDUCATION
Safe supply can be a challenging and often counterintuitive concept for many people to embrace, while the toxic illicit drug crisis as whole is too often perceived as something that only impacts major urban centres like Vancouver or Kelowna. Consequently, engaging with the public on these issues and providing accurate information about the drug crisis, drug users, harm reduction, and safe supply is critical for building the broad-based public support it will take to pressure all levels of government to finally take real action to end this crisis.
Please check out our Events page to see what upcoming public engagements we have in the works.
If you’d like to have KISS present to a group or at an event that you're affiliated with, please contact us at email@example.com.