Sure - Canadian Substance Use Resource and Knowledge Exchange Centre

Published: November 30, 2022

Between March and May 2021, CPHA engaged with communities in Nova Scotia, Manitoba and Ontario to better understand the range and availability of substance use services in each community, explore what they would like to see to better support people who use drugs, and identify next steps to close the gaps between current and desired states for a public health approach to substance use.

In the spring of 2022, CPHA hosted knowledge exchange forums in each community to bring together people who use drugs, allied health and social service providers, and first responders to brainstorm different approaches this project can take to address each community’s prioritized needs. 

Since meeting with these communities, the team has released three What We Heard- Preliminary Community Assessment Reports summarizing themes, community needs and change ideas identified during the engagement forums. At a project-level, these community assessments reports support an understanding of the:

  • readiness and willingness of professionals to implement a public health approach to substance use; 

  • resources that can be co-created to increase the community’s readiness to implement a public health approach to substance use; and 

  • key assets or strengths that can be shared with other communities building capacity to implement a public health approach to substance use.

Find the community assessment reports below: 


Mainline, a program of the Mi’kmaw Native Friendship Centre, is a health promotion organization dedicated to supporting people who use drugs through harm reduction programs. Their mission is to reduce acquisition and transmission of HIV, Hepatitis B & C, to increase awareness of health and social issues facing PWUD, and to help current and former PWUD through education, support and empowerment.

Click on the image to view the report. 

..The Manitoba Harm Reduction Network (MHRN) works toward equitable access, systemic change, and reducing the transmission of sexually transmitted and blood-borne infections (STBBI) through advocacy, policy work, education, research and relationships. They do this by operating several peer-led harm reduction networks across the province that provide services, education, advocacy and events that are relevant to their specific communities.

Click on the image to view the report. 

..The Thunder Bay Drug Strategy’s (TBDS) mission is to create and implement a drug strategy for the City of Thunder Bay, district, and region, that reflects the needs and strengths of its citizens. The strategy will focus on humane approaches that address the causes and effects of harm associated with substance use. Their vision is to improve the health, safety and well-being of all citizens by working together to reduce substance related harms.

    Click on the image to view the report. 

    Visit the CPHA project page to learn more about the Normalizing Conversations project, community engagement partners and project partners.