The OD PREP (OverDose Prevention and Response – Essential Practices) webinars series, hosted in partnership with the Community Action Initiative (CAI), the Public Health Association of BC (PHABC) and the Canadian Mental Health Association – BC Division (CMHA BC), showcased essential practices for overdose and drug poisoning prevention and response from across British Columbia.  The seven-part series looked at personal empowerment, community-driven actions and public policy changes that together can shift BC to a harm reduction and health promotion approach that saves and sustains meaningful lives.

Since February 2020, we have worked in partnership with a cross-provincial, peer-led advisory committee to define essential practices and identify which peer-led groups and community-based organizations are practicing them. The final webinar series was designed to showcase these essential practices and encourage organizations and individuals to adapt these practices for their own communities.

Thank you to everyone who attended the webinars, if you were not able to join us live, recordings of each webinar are available below along with links to the various participating organizations webpages.

While the webinars are over, the work to prevent and respond to overdoses is never finished! Join our OD-PREP learning community to connect with other like-minded individuals and organizations, share resources, post job opportunities and community events, and collaborate to advocate for common send policy changes through this FREE platform. Click here to learn more and register today!


How-to Support Peer-Led Initiatives


During the past 5 years peers, or people with lived and living experience of drug use, have been at the frontlines of the overdose and drug poisoning epidemic. At a time when public service is stepping down, peers are stepping up to save lives and support their communities. And they do this without any employment protections, support, or…

Now What? Brain Injury after Overdose


Over five years have passed since the Province declared a public health emergency and yet rates of overdose and poisoning deaths continue to rise. Since then, over 281,950 take-home Naxolone kits have been distributed and over 100,787 have been used to reverse an overdose. Many deaths have been averted, but what remains unsaid and unseen…

Hey, Pal… You Ok? Safer Washrooms and Episodic OPS


Attempts to exclude people who use substances from facilities, or prevent substance use from being seen by staff, have failed to dissuade people from using and have instead pushed them to use alone. Episodic Overdose Prevention Services (e-OPS) are services or interventions that healthcare and social service providers (anyone from paramedics to peer supporters) can…

Radical Pragmatism: Inside BC’s lowest barrier shelter


The majority of safe injection sites that have opened to combat the ongoing overdose and drug poisoning epidemic exist solely for overdose response. These setting are highly medicalized, with restricted spaces of use, strict rules on movement throughout the space, and high levels of observation from paid employees. While providing an important service, these sites can actually be a major deterrent to many who may feel stigmatized using in…

Doing it Ourselves, for Everyone: Empowering Communities to Take Action


Despite the province’s increased investment on overdose prevention and response, high rates of overdose deaths due to the criminalization of drugs continue to escalate. Key voices have often been missed in the rush to respond, and resources have been less accessible, equitable and appropriate for the very communities they intend to serve. With thousands of…

A University-Community Collaborative Approach to Drug Testing


Learn how students can apply classroom learning to address public health concerns and build relationships with their communities! Universities are in a unique position to aid in the fight against the opioid epidemic; students from various academic disciplines have the skills to run a variety of harm reduction services. Students in sciences, health and social…

Organizations Involved


British Columbia Centre for Disease Control

The BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) provides health promotion and prevention services, analytical and policy support to government and health authorities, and diagnostic and treatment services to reduce communicable[…]

Engaged Communities Canada Society

Engaged Communities  Canada Society (ECCS) aims to address the systemic gaps that exist for underserved communities across British Columbia’s lower mainland region in accessing equitable solutions to complex health challenges.[…]

Island Health

Island Health provides health care services through a network of hospitals, clinics, centres, health units, and long-term care locations that includes harm reduction and mental health and substance use treatment.[…]


Formed in September of 2019, KANDU (Knowledging All Nations and Developing Unity – formerly known as the Kelowna Area Network of Drug Users) is a peer led, supportive, drug user group. We aim to work[…]

Matsqui-Abbotsford IMPACT Society

Serving the communities of Abbotsford and Mission since 1988, IMPACT currently supports four main programs: Counselling aimed at addressing life challenges that have gotten tangled up in substance use for[…]

Nanaimo Brain Injury Society

The Nanaimo Brain Injury Society (NBIS) is a registered non-profit society and registered charitable organization.  They are a progressive society that provides support, education and connection for people living with[…]

PHS Community Services Society

PHS Community Services Society provides housing, healthcare, harm reduction and health promotion for some of the most vulnerable and under-served people in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside and Victoria.  The Portland Hotel Society (renamed PHS Community Services[…]

RainCity Housing

A home for every person. It’s that simple. And that complex. For more than three decades RainCity Housing has put government funds and generous donor dollars to good use to[…]

SOLID Outreach

SOLID is a non-profit organization that provides peer-based health education and support services to reduce the harms associated with drug use in Victoria. Their mandate is to provide accessible pathways[…]

Tsow-Tun Le Lum Society

Tsow-Tun Le Lum means “Helping House”. Their staff and cultural teams provide confidential outreach services such as counselling and cultural support by phone, video, or other means, a 40-day intensive[…]