A call for a safer drug supply.

The MySafe Project is a safe supply initiative formed in response to the overdose crisis — providing people with a safer, regulated supply of opioids to prevent drug overdoses.

About

We are the MySafe Society, an innovative non-profit safer supply initiative. We help create opportunity for consistent monitoring, education and assistance to manage drug use, and reduce drug overdoses.

More than 15,000 Canadians have died of an opioid-related overdose since January 2016. In recent years, calls for access to a safer drug supply have mounted from people who use drugs, health officials, doctors, government leaders and community groups.

MySafe, the world's first biometric opioid vending machine, was launched in December 2019 in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside as part of an innovative harm reduction pilot project.

Purpose

To provide a low-barrier means of accessing a safer pharmaceutical-grade opioid supply on a pre-determined schedule through a machine. Access is granted to the medications upon identity verification using biometric palm-scanning technology.

Participants are given autonomy and flexibility regarding when to access their medications and where to use them.  This low-barrier way of accessing a safer opioid supply is secure, scalable and cost-effective.

MySafe by the Numbers
3,551
Packets Dispensed
1
Location Launched
20
New MySafe Machines Awaiting Deployment
Project Overview

The MySafe Project greatly reduces the chance of drug overdose by providing a pharmaceutical grade opioid of known potency and purity.

A safer supply also allows drug users to break the cycle and hustle they go through to get drugs, allowing them to focus on stabilizing their lives.

Mark Tyndall in front of BC street art

How it Works

MySafe Drug Administration Process
What makes MySafe so unique is the provision of medications that are not embedded in traditional medical models. While the medications are secure and regulated they are delivered in a way that is free of stigma and judgement.
1
Phase One:
Assessment and Prescription
1
Interview potential candidates.
2
Eligible candidates are assessed by a physician, and a baseline urine drug screen is collected.
1
Phase One:
Assessment and Prescription
3
Medical assessment is completed by telemedicine or in-person, including a review of other active prescriptions.
4
Hydromorphone tablet prescription is issued with dosage and dispensing schedule.
5
Participants sign a consent form that outlines the expectations of the program and agree to have their prescriptions accessed through the MySafe machine.
2
Phase Two:
Programming and Supply
6
Participants have their palms scanned at the enrolment station using a biometric scanner that records the internal vein pattern of the palms for machine identification.
7
MySafe is programmed to permit access to medications at a prescribed internal following biometric identify verification.
8
Medications are dispensed by a pharmacist in MySafe ready packages using procedures that comply with all current pharmacy regulations.
9
The pharmacy delivers the medications to the site or a designate picks up and signs for the medications at the pharmacy, before loading the MySafe machine.
Medications are dispensed by a pharmacist in MySafe ready packages. A designate receives the prescriptions and loads them into the MySafe machine.
3
Phase Three:
Dispension and Safe Supply Administration
10
Participants may have their first dose observed. Following a successful introduction all medications will be consumed offsite.
11
The initial prescription is individualized to a maximum daily dose of 16 x 8 mg hydromorphone tablets.
12
Check-in with the prescribing physician is arranged weekly for the first month and then monthly after that with repeat urine drug testing at one month.
13
Participant activity is monitored remotely and reports are issued regularly for evaluation and research purposes.
The machine provides real-time, accurate records through a secure website and automated daily reporting — eliminating the need for manual record keeping.
14
Participants will be offered linkages to health and social services throughout the course of the Project.
Leadership

Led by a team with decades of success in harm reduction, public health, and clinical trials.

The MySafe Board of Directors is comprised of medical experts who are leaders in harm reduction, safe supply and clinical trials. These experts have joined forces to form the MySafe Society to provide safer supply initiatives on a national scale. Bios for the MySafe Society Board of Directors are detailed below.

2019
MySafe Established

Board of Directors

Dr. Mark Tyndall is among Canada’s leading experts on harm reduction, public health, and the transmission of infectious diseases. A Harvard trained epidemiologist and infectious diseases specialist with a clinical focus on HIV, Hepatitis C and infections related to injection drug use. He has numerous career awards and has authored over 250 peer-reviewed academic papers. Dr. Tyndall is a professor at the School of Population and Health at UBC, and formerly the Director of the British Columbia Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) and the Deputy Provincial Health Officer for British Columbia. Dr. Tyndall is the Founder of the MySafe Society.

Board of Directors

Dr. Andrea Sereda is a Schulich School of Medicine Graduate, focused on street-level, at risk programs. Dr. Sereda works at the London InterCommunity Health Centre (LIHC), where she is the lead physician for Street Level Women at Risk (SLWAR).  Dr Sereda helps women stay safer in their substance use, and works on larger health goals like treatment of HIV, hepatitis C, and other mental health disorders. Dr. Sereda has been operating a take home safe supply program for 4 years and cares for 120 safe supply patients. In 2018, Dr. Sereda was recognized as one of Canada’s Top 40 Under 40.

Board of Directors

Dr. Ed Mills is a Professor at McMaster University Department of Health Research Methods, Impact, and Evaluation, and the University of Rwanda, School of Public Health. He is an Oxford educated Clinical Epidemiologist and Statistician and has spent the past twenty years leading large clinical trials and mega-cohort evaluations. Edward has worked extensively with the ministries of health setting new guideline processes and has published more than 400 peer-reviewed scientific articles and several books. In addition, he has developed software for Bayesian analysis of clinical trials and prospective adaptive trials.

Community Partners

AVI Health and Community Services
CASS: Canadian Association for Safe Supply
Atira Women's Resource Society
Raincity Housing
London InterCommunity Health Centre.png
MSTH: Moms Stop the Harm
Solid Outreach, Victoria, BC
CAPUD: The Canadian Association of People Who Use Drugs
CSSDP: Canadian Students for Sensible Drug Policy
BC/Yukon Association of Drug War Survivors
Chapman's Pharmacy
OPS: Overdose Prevention Society
Dispension Industries
Canadian Drug Policy Coalition
Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association
Vancouver Police
MySafe Project Locations

There are five new machines being delivered in May 2020 to established community partners in Vancouver, Victoria, London, and Dartmouth.

1
CAPUD
68 Highfield Park Drive,
Dartmouth, NS
1
LIHC
648 Dundas St E,
London, ON
4
OPS Overdose Prevention Site
58 E Hastings,
Vancouver BC
SOLID
857 Caledonia,
Victoria, BC
ATIRA
201-190 Alexander St,
Vancouver, BC
RainCity Housing
616 Powell St,
Vancouver, BC
1
1
4
BC
OPS Overdose Prevention Site
58 E Hastings,
Vancouver BC
BC
SOLID
857 Caledonia,
Victoria, BC
BC
ATIRA
201-190 Alexander St,
Vancouver, BC
BC
RainCity Housing
616 Powell St,
Vancouver, BC
ON
LIHC
648 Dundas St E,
London, ON
NS
CAPUD
68 Highfield Park Drive,
Dartmouth, NS
Work with us

It's time to change the landscape of safer supply.

Downtown Vancouver street where MySafe is deployed
Overdose Crisis Impacts
$
3.49
B
Cost of Opioid Substance Use In Canada (Annual)
14,700
+
Opioid Related Deaths
Jan 2016 - Sep 2019
19,490
Opioid Related Hospitalizations
Jan 2016 - Sep 2019
17,000
+
Suspected Opioid Related Overdoses
Jan 2019 - Sep 2019
Data Obtained From:
1. Canadian Substance Use Cost and Harms  Report, Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction, 2018.
2. Opioid-Related Harms in Canada, Government of Canada, 2020.