Engaging with People with Lived/Living Expertise of Substance Use

PI: Jade Boyd (BC Centre on Substance Use, BC)

Leadership Group: BC representatives: Hugh Lampkin (VANDU), Loretta Brown (VANDU); Alex  Sherstobitoff (ANKORS); Garth Mullins & Dean Wilson (BCCSU); Prairie representatives: Monty Ghosh (Alberta Health Services), Karen Turner (Boyle Street Community Services), Dawn Lavand (Manitoba Harm Reduction Network), Brandi Abele (CAPUD); Ontario representatives: Frank Crichlow (Counterfit Harm Reduction), Sean LeBlanc (Ottawa Inner City Health), Quebec-Atlantic representatives: Susan Kirkland (Dalhousie University); Alexandra deKiewit (CAPUD), Jennifer Bowser & Julien Carette (Handup)

 This initiative aims to facilitate the engagement of people who use drugs (peers) throughout Canada by enhancing national peer networks. Peers will engage in implementation science projects and identify advocacy priorities to converge on a national set of actions to address the opioid crisis. This will take place through 3 projects, as well as annual in-person meetings/conferences.

  1. Participate and consult in the other CRISM EHT projects
    1.  Develop working groups that participate in the other projects (ongoing)
  2. Develop an understanding of peer experiences of opioid agonist treatment (OAT/iOAT)
    1.  Create a working group of peers who will define the research questions o E.g., compare success rates of different treatments, explore harms related to methadone and polysubstance use, consequences of criminalization and stigma on treatment
  3. Develop methods that are appropriate to the agreed upon research questions
  4. Explore the limitations of being employed as a peer in harm reduction or other health services
    1. Review existing literature and identify gaps

Specific projects that have been undertaken include:

  1. Administration of a survey on PWLE experiences working in harm reductions services
    1. Report
    2. Infographic
  2. Partnered with BCCSU podcast project to engage in PWLE storytelling in media
    1. Listen here: www.crackdownpod.com
  3. Pursuing a photovoice project to share their stories of harm reduction, advocacy, and everyday lives of PWLE