The Safer Bathroom Toolkit


About this toolkit

Bathrooms can provide private, seemingly safe spaces for people to use substances, especially when they are unable to access supervised consumption or overdose prevention sites. Even when these designated services are available, some people will continue to use substances in bathrooms. There are several reasons for this, such as privacy, stigma, and fear of others knowing they use substances. However, there can be serious risks to using substances in bathrooms, including overdosing alone and potentially not receiving lifesaving help in time.

Restricting access to bathrooms or implementing measures to discourage substance use in bathrooms does not work. Rather, doing so increases risks for people who use substances, staff, and other people at risk of injury due to unsafe bathroom lighting, layout, and so forth.  

There are ways of making bathrooms safer for people who use substances.

This toolkit will help you to do that.

Start by completing an assessment for each bathroom used by staff and/or clients, residents, customers, and visitors.

Use the checklist to develop and implement a plan to improve safety for all bathroom users.

Download these additional resources and share them widely!

Safer Bathrooms Toolkit at Stimulus Connect

A Stimulus Connect presentation on the Safer Bathooms Toolkit in December 2022.

For questions about or feedback on this toolkit, email

Want to learn more about this project? Read "Drug overdoses in public bathrooms are common: new tools could prevent harm and improve response" in the Conversation Canada.

Funded by Michael Smith Health Research BC.

Disclaimer: The safer bathrooms toolkit provides a repository of potentially useful documents to assist with communication, training, policy and protocol development, and design. They were developed in 2022 using experiential knowledge, lessons learned in practice, and existing resources. The usefulness of these documents and outcomes may vary depending on the setting. The team responsible for the toolkit's development does not accept legal liability or responsibility for the toolkit or any consequences arising from its use.