Safer supply-focused webinars hosted by the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario and collaborators

Aug. 14, 2023

In the midst of Ontario’s toxic drug supply crisis, nurses and other health providers are learning about the positive impact of safer supply programs. With more than 1,000 registrants for its past monthly harm reduction webinars, the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO) is now hosting a series of webinars to meet the educational needs of nurses and other health providers. Two webinars taking place in August focus on safer supply of substances as a harm reduction approach to care that prevents overdose-related deaths. 

The first webinar on Aug. 15, titled Prescribed Safer Supply: Background and Busting Myths, focuses on the goals of safer supply, the role it has on the continuum of care for people who use substances, and the evidence that supports its impact on clients’ outcomes and health systems. The second webinar on Aug. 22, titled Understanding the Impact: Safer Supply Program Models and Nursing Practice, provides a comprehensive overview of safer supply programs across Ontario. It also addresses the impacts and implications of safer supply programs, in the context of nursing practice. And, it highlights the benefits, challenges and next steps for safer supply programs across Ontario.

Both webinars are free of charge for nurses and other health professionals to attend.

WHAT: RNAO, in partnership with its Mental Health Nurses Interest Group and Community Health Nurses’ Initiatives Group, as well as the Harm Reduction Nurses Association, Moms Stop the Harm and the National Safer Supply Community of Practice, hosts two webinars focused on harm reduction and safer supply.

WHY: In 2022, more than 2,500 people died in Ontario due to opioid toxicity. Harm reduction is a social justice approach to care that involves policies, programs, and practices to reduce health, social or economic risks associated with substance use. Safer supply involves providing pharmaceutical-grade substances quality to adults who are at high risk of drug overdose. Guest speakers will discuss the evidence around safer supply programs and analyze nurses’ vital role in this health setting. They will also answer participants’ questions to encourage dialogue, enhance knowledge and reduce stigma associated with safer supply.


  • Marysia (Mish) Waraksa, NP and clinical lead, Parkdale Queen West Community Health Centre Safer Opioids Supply Program
  • Marlene Haines, NP, PhD Candidate
  • Sophia Coulter-English, RN*

*Guest speaker at webinar 2 only


  • Webinar 1: Prescribed Safer Supply: Background and Busting Myths: Aug. 15, 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. ET
  • Webinar 2: Understanding the Impact: Safer Supply Program Models and Nursing Practice: Aug. 22, 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. ET

HOW: Please register online to join the free webinars:

Members of the media are welcome to attend the webinar and/or interview the presenters in advance. To learn more about RNAO’s Mental Health and Substance Use Program, please visit the In Focus web page.

The Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO) is the professional association representing registered nurses, nurse practitioners and nursing students in Ontario. Since 1925, RNAO has advocated for healthy public policy, promoted excellence in nursing practice, increased nurses’ contribution to shaping the health system, and influenced decisions that affect nurses and the public we serve. For more information about RNAO, visit or follow us on TwitterFacebook and Instagram.

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Contact info

Madison Scaini
Communications Officer/Writer
Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario (RNAO)