St. John Ambulance launches new Accidental Drug Poisoning Crisis - Community of Practice
August 14, 2022 By Julie Forget

Last Updated Wednesday, July 06, 2022 3:59PM UTC

OTTAWA, ON (July 6, 2022) -- St. John Ambulance is proud to announce the launch of a new program, funded by Health Canada’s Substance Use and Addictions Program (SUAP), called the Accidental Drug Poisoning Crisis – Community of Practice (ADPC–CoP).  

The ADPC–CoP is a national initiative that aims to connect people with lived and living experience, frontline workers, and anyone impacted by the opioid crisis to discuss ideas, challenges, and knowledge of current trends and practices in a safe space. Events will take place online once a month, providing an accessible space to share resources and create community-based solutions.

“The opioid crisis continues to be a significant public health crisis in Canada - and it’s not going anywhere anytime soon,” said Shawn McLaren, Chief Learning Officer for the St. John Ambulance National Office. “With increased funding from Health Canada through SUAP, we have been able to expand our network of support for those across the country impacted by the opioid crisis at hand. We heard loud and clear from the attendees of our pilot project National Summits that people on the frontline are burnt out, feeling isolated, and need to connect. We wanted to build a place for that happen.”

ADPC–CoP events geared towards specific communities or issues that will accommodate up to 100 participants will take place monthly over zoom with larger scale events taking place trimonthly starting July 27th. The larger events will accommodate up to 500 participants and offer opportunities to hear from keynote speakers, participate in workshops, and engage in personal development. The upcoming July event will be focused on advocacy, with a panelist discussion featuring important topics involved in the decriminalization of drugs in B.C. earlier this month, followed by a one-hour live Q&A. 

“St. John Ambulance is doing life-saving work to prevent substance use harms and support people who use substances with compassion and empathy. By supporting their new Community of Practice, our government is helping to create a safe space for people affected by the overdose crisis in Canada while facilitating innovative ways to support those at risk of experiencing overdose and other substance use harms. We will continue using all available tools to reduce stigma, save lives, and end this devastating public health crisis,” said Minister of Mental Health and Addictions and Associate Minister of Health (Health Canada), Hon. Carolyn Bennett. 

“The ongoing overdose crisis affects many people in Ottawa and across Canada. The Substance Use and Addictions Program is a key step forward in responding to the needs of individuals struggling with the use of opioids and other substances. I am pleased that St. John Ambulance Canada will get the support they need to provide community-led and progressive supports,” said Mona Fortier, Member of Parliament for Ottawa-Vanier. 

The ADPC–CoP program is overseen by an advisory committee comprised of subject matter experts including people with lived and living experience, and frontline workers to ensure the content being delivered is both relevant and accurate. With representatives from each corner of Canada, the ADPC–CoP aims to address the insulation of information throughout the country and create a ‘connective tissue’ to bring people together.

The first Community of Practice will take place on July 27th, 2022 from 1:00 – 3:00 pm EST. Interested individuals can register here.

This program was funded by a contribution from Health Canada’s Substance Use and Addictions Program (SUAP). The views expressed herein do not necessarily represent Health Canada.

About the Accidental Drug Poisoning Crisis Community of Practice 
The Accidental Drug Poisoning Crisis Community of Practice (ADPC–CoP) program is a national initiative with the goal to connect frontline workers, organizations, agencies, and people with lived and living experience to enable them to discuss and share ideas, challenges, and knowledge of current drug trends and practices in a safe space. They will be able to learn and share resources with one another and to collectively devise a community solution. Learn more at www.reactandreverse.ca.

About Health Canada’s Substance Use and Addictions Program
Through Health Canada’s Substance Use and Addictions Program (SUAP), the Government of Canada provides grants and contributions funding to other levels of government, as well as community-led and not-for-profit organizations, to respond to current drug and substance use issues in Canada. Since 2017, it has supported more than 200 innovative projects across Canada. 

About St. John Ambulance 
As Canada’s standard for excellence in First Aid and CPR services, St. John Ambulance offers innovative programs ensuring Canadians receive the best quality training. Revenue generated from training supports St. John Ambulance’s charitable work. St. John Ambulance is an international humanitarian organization and part of the Order of St. John. Our Vision: Everyone in Canada prepared to save a life. Learn more at www.sja.ca.

Contact: 
Julie Forget
Director, Marketing & Communications
St. John Ambulance National Office
Cell: (819) 210.2064  |  Julie.forget@sja.ca