Imagine Safe Supply


Safe supply means knowing the amount, potency, and contents of a drug. The purpose of this research is to learn what people think about safe supply.

We are looking for people who:

  • Are current or former users of potentially contaminated opioids and / or stimulants.
  • Or are front-line workers who directly support people who use drugs.
  • Live in Quebec, Ontario, Alberta, or British Columbia.
  • Are at least 18 years old.

To learn more about this research and consent to take part, please read the information below.

You may choose to have the consent form read to you, and to complete consent verbally. Please contact [email protected] or call 416-831-6626 if you prefer this option.

This study follows OCAP® principles for First Nations participants. OCAP® is “a set of principles that guide how research with First Nations people should be [done] and how that information should be stored”. If you would like to learn more about OCAP® please click here.

If you identify as First Nations and would like to participate in this research, please click here:

Consent Form


It will take up to 20 minutes to review this consent information.


The purpose of the Imagine Safe Supply study is to explore people’s thoughts about participation in safe supply of drugs within Canada. We want to learn more about the attitudes and choices of people who use drugs (PWUD) and front-line workers who support PWUD.

Safe supply means access to drugs that come from a regulated and tested source where we know what is in a drug, and what potency it has. Safe supply has a goal of reducing the risks of drug use by creating access to a safe and uncontaminated supply of drugs.

By taking part in this research, you will not be offered or denied a safe supply of drugs.

This study is being led by a group of researchers at Canadian Drug Policy Coalition at Simon Fraser University. This project is funded by the Canadian Institute of Health Research. This research will be carried out between December 2020 and September 2021.


You are invited to part in a screening questionnaire, interview and survey. These should take about 2 hours to complete. You will be asked for your thoughts about a safe supply of drugs: what would work best for you and your community?

We are doing the screening questionnaire to make sure people qualify to do this research. It will also be used to make sure there are a diverse and equal number of research participants from across different provinces. It should take up to 15 minutes. You will not be paid to complete the screening. If you are qualified to take part, you will be invited to an interview and survey.

The interview will be done by phone or zoom video and will be audio recorded. You can also choose to have your interviewer do written notes instead. The survey will be done through a web link. You can fill out the web survey yourself, or you can have the researcher read and fill in your survey answers for you.

You will be offered a $50 honorarium for your participation in the interview and survey. Payment will be in the form of an electronic (Interac©) bank transfer or mailed Visa gift card, made out to your name. You do need a personal bank account to receive an electronic transfer. You do not need a bank or credit card account to use a visa gift card at stores, but it cannot be redeemed for cash and carries a fee.


Participation in the screening questionnaire, interview and survey is voluntary. If you don’t wish to take part, you don’t have to, and you can choose to stop at any point and refuse to answer any questions. Any services or supports you receive, or any jobs you have, will not be affected whether you take part in this research or not.

You can stop at any time by telling the researcher/s. You will still be offered a $50 honorarium to participate.  If you choose to take part in the study then decide to opt out, all the information collected from you up to the time that you opt out will be immediately destroyed.


You are not being offered access to a safe supply of drugs by taking part in this research. There is no guarantee or promise that you will receive any benefits from taking part. You may or may not find benefit from taking part. People might like the idea that they are adding to knowledge about safe supply in Canada. This study may also support people and organizations to understand better ways of doing safe supply. In the future, others may benefit from what we learn in this study.


You will be asked about thoughts and experiences related to drug use, or working with people who use drugs. Some of the questions may make you feel uneasy. However, you can choose to opt out of any question or stop taking part at any time. As well, the researcher may check in with you and stop an interview if you show signs of distress. A list of resources for free support and referrals in your province will be given to you by text, email or video chat in case you become upset or distressed and want to seek follow-up. If you suffer any distress or psychological injury as a result of this research, please contact the research team as soon as possible at [email protected]a or 416-831-6626. You will be assisted with arranging appropriate support.

Any information you give will be made anonymous and will be combined with other people’s information before it is shared. This means that no individual participant will be able to be identified. The study findings may include information about the age, gender, ethnicity, housing status, and sexual orientation (LGBTQ2S) of research participants. This information might be connected to findings about safe supply and drug use. While we do not believe this will lead to stereotypes or negative impacts, some groups often face stigmatization around drug use. We will share information about groups only if it adds to a better understanding about needs and choices around safe supply.

This research has not been approved by any group, organization, or service where you may be an employee, member, or client. There is a small chance that people could identify you based on what information you share. To reduce this risk, we will not ask you to name any person, group, organization, or service, and no specific person, organization or group will be mentioned in the research findings.

Please be aware that open internet connections, such as public wifi (that don’t require a username and password), are not secure. There is a chance that any information you give in an unsecured internet connection may not stay private. If your email address or phone is accessed by someone who is not you, your participation in any part of this research may not stay confidential. It is best to choose a password protected internet connection and a trusted phone or computer so that your participation stays confidential.

Please note that posting to comments sections, liking or sharing on social media or other forums about this study may identify you as a participant. We suggest that if this study was made available to you via a social media site or other online forums, you refrain from posting comments to protect your anonymity.


By agreeing to take part in this study, you agree to the research team collecting and using personal information about you for this research project. Any information collected that can identify you, such as your consent and screening info, audio interview, and survey will remain confidential. Nobody will know your identity, aside from the Principal Investigator and member/s of the research team who gather and compile your information.

What happens to my screening information?

Your screening information will be used to see if you qualify to take part. If you are selected, this information will be made anonymous and used within the research. If you are not selected to take part, your screening information will be immediately destroyed and not used in the research.

What will happen to my audio recordings?

If you do consent by phone, it will be audio recorded. Your interview will also be audio recorded. The Principal Investigator and Research Associates Erin Howley and Yan Ferguson and Research Assistant Karmvir Padda will have access to your audio recordings. This will include your consent to participate (if you choose to do it verbally) and interview.

A transcription service will put your interview into writing. It will be confidential and no information about you will be shared with others. After it has been put into writing, the original and all copies of your interview audio recording will be promptly destroyed. If you prefer not to have your interview audio recorded, the researcher can take written notes instead.

What will happen to my written information?

Your written information will include your screening questionnaire, interview transcript and survey. Research Associates Erin Howley or Yan Ferguson will de-identify your information and make it anonymous by replacing your name with a unique code number. Only the Principal Investigator, Research Associates and Assistant Karmvir Padda will be able to see the code key, a document that connects your name with your unique code number.


  • Your code key, consent, audio recordings and written information will be stored on a password protected database called SFU Vault. It will be removed from this database as soon as possible, until no later than September 2021. Your information will be backed up on an encrypted, password-protected hard drive and stored in a locked cabinet at the office of Canadian Drug Policy Coalition at Simon Fraser University for 5 years, until September 2026.
  • Your anonymized written information will be shared with the Imagine Safe Supply research team for data analysis.
  • All researchers will sign a confidentiality form, agreeing not to share your identity or anything about you with others, and to keep your information secure. We will keep your confidentiality to our fullest ability.
  • You can be provided a copy of all the data collected from you that you wish to keep, including your consent, screening questionnaire, interview transcript, and survey. To request this information, please contact Principal Investigator Scott Bernstein at [email protected] or call 778-782-9567.
  • While quotes may be used, you will not be identified by name in any of the study findings or reports. Your information will be made anonymous and combined with other people’s information first.
  • Your identity will be shared only with your permission or as required by law, if you share possibly serious harm to yourself or others, such as suicide or intent to inflict physical violence.
  • As in many studies dealing with issues of illicit drug use, there is a small chance that the research data gathered in this study may be subpoenaed to be used in legal (including criminal) proceedings. If the research data for this study is subpoenaed, CDPC will challenge the subpoena. A judge will then decide whether CDPC has to comply with the subpoena and release some or all of the research data. In this case, CDPC may be required by law to release some or all of the information that you share in this research, and this may be used against you during legal proceedings. We do not anticipate that this will happen and as far as we know, this has never happened in a research study with people who use drugs in Canada. However, it is important that you be aware that this is a potential risk.
  • By consenting to take part in the Imagine Safe Supply study, you are also consenting to the possibility that your data may be used in other related studies by other researchers. If so, the Imagine Safe Supply Principal Investigator will only share documents that have been made anonymous using your unique code number. Your name and any other identifying information will not be shared with other researchers. If your information is used in the future in other research, you will not be contacted first.
  • Any information you give will be kept on a secure server located within Canada in accordance with British Columbia Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA).


If you like, we can get back in touch to invite you to a public webinar to get your thoughts about the findings. You can also visit the Imagine Safe Supply web page for updates at

The findings from the Imagine Safe Supply study may be published and publicly shared in a variety of places such as academic journal articles, conference presentations, webinars, and infographics. In any publication or presentation, information will be provided in a way that you cannot be identified, except with your written permission.


You can ask that your information be corrected or taken out of the research. However, this may not be possible after your input has been made anonymous and used within research analysis and findings. You also have the right to request a copy of your information for as long as it is stored by Canadian Drug Policy Coalition (5 years, until September 2026). Please contact Principal Investigator Scott Bernstein at  [email protected] or 778-782-9567 for these requests.


Principal Investigator, Scott Bernstein (of Canadian Drug Policy Coalition) will oversee the research. Research Associate, Erin Howley will lead Anglophone interviews and manage the storage and sharing of your information with the research team. Research Associate Yan Ferguson will lead Francophone interviews and manage the storage of Francophone data. Research Assistant, Karmvir Padda will manage data and coordinate data analysis. Research Assistants, Jack Farrell and Sean O’Callaghan will assist with data analysis and will only be able to view anonymized data.

The Imagine Safe Supply Community Advisory Committee is a group of people with lived expertise of drug use and front-line work with people who use drugs. The Community Advisory Committee may co-lead interviews, read data, and help with findings. The Community Advisory Committee includes Phoenix Beck McGreevy, Céline Côté, Frank Crichlow, Erica Schoen, Mikki Schell.

The Imagine Safe Supply Research Advisory Committee is a group of researchers and professors who will assist with looking at data and findings: Elaine Hyshka (University of Alberta); Alissa Greer (Simon Fraser University); Marie-Eve Goyer (University of Montreal); Gillian Kolla (University of Victoria).


If you want any further information about taking part in this project, you can contact [email protected] or call 416-831-6626. This project is led by Principal Investigator Scott Bernstein, who can be contacted at [email protected] or 778-782-9567.

If you have any concerns about your rights as a research participant and/or your experiences while participating in this study, you can contact Dr. Jeffrey Toward, the Director of Simon Fraser University Office of Research Ethics at [email protected] or 778-782-6593.


Taking part in this study is entirely up to you. You have the right to refuse to take part. If you decide you do want to take part in the Imagine Safe Supply research, you must confirm using an internet form or audio recording. By confirming, you will be telling us that:

  • You are at least 18 years old.
  • You do not give up any of your legal rights by taking part in this study.
  • You have read and understand this consent form, or someone has read it to you in a language that you understand.
  • You understand the purpose, and possible benefits and risks of this study.
  • You have had an opportunity to ask questions and are satisfied with the answers you have received.
  • You freely agree to participate in this study as described and understand that you can pull out at any time without giving a reason and without any negative impact on your access to supports or services.
  • You understand that your consent to participate will be collected using an internet form or audio recording.
  • You understand that your interview will be audio recorded. If you are opposed to audio recording, you can choose to have the researcher take written notes instead.
  • You understand that researchers will be allowed to use your date for future research projects without contacting you first. Only data that has been made anonymous will be used in future research projects.
  • You understand that you have the option to request an email or paper mailed copy of the consent form and research data. You can also request that your data be removed from the project at a later time. You can make these requests by contacting Scott Bernstein at [email protected] or 778-782-9567.


If you would like more time to consider your participation, you can complete this consent at a later time by visiting or calling 416-831-6626.

Please click here to consent to take part in the Imagine Safe Supply research. By filling in your information and clicking “Submit” you consent to take part in the Imagine Safe Supply research.