Evaluation of the Victoria SAFER program

Funding body

Health Canada Substance Use and Addictions Program, CIHR 


The Victoria SAFER program offers pharmaceutical alternatives to the toxic unregulated drug supply, prioritizing people who are unhoused in Victoria, British Columbia. It was developed and is operated by AVI Health and Community Services. This participatory evaluation, conducted in partnership with AVI Health and Community Services and SOLID Outreach, has been ongoing since the program began in 2020. It is focused on informing and evaluating the service model and outcomes, as the program continues to evolve in response to the toxic drug supply and local needs.

The team is using a case study approach, involving document review, concept mapping, focus groups, interviews, and surveys with multiple stakeholders. Through its participatory approach, the study aims to generate evidence that will inform the scale-up and continued development of safer supply models in BC and beyond.

Progress to date

In 2020, we held a series of focus groups with people who use drugs and used concept mapping to develop a “user-driven” model of safer supply. Surveys and interviews with people who use the service and staff have been ongoing since 2020, to gather perspectives on implementation and impacts. As a team, we continue to build on the findings of previous activities as we plan for next steps and the shifting context of the program. This work also forms part of the CIHR-funded national evaluation of safer supply programs (PI: Dr. Dan Werb at the Centre on Drug Policy Evaluation).


A full list of resources from this project is available here.

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