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.
“I think the only ethical response in this situation is to at least give people an alternative of a safe pharmaceutical drug that they will not overdose on.”
Frequently Asked Questions on MySafe
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Who can be a participant in MySafe?
- Selected participants will undergo a full medical and social assessment which includes current drug use patterns and their risk of overdose.
How do they store their prescription?
- Participants will consent to having their prescriptions accessed through this secure dispensing storage machine, equivalent to an individualized storage locker.
What is the medication prescribed?
- A physician will prescribe Hydromorphone tablets that will be prepared by a selected pharmacy and pre-packaged to fit into the MySafe machine.
How are the machines restocked?
- The pharmacy will deliver the medications to the site and sign them over to medical staff for placement in the machine.
Who has access to the medication prior to dispensing?
- Staff will be the only ones with access to the medications prior to dispensing.
How will you know the dosage is correct?
- Participants will have their first dose as well as any changes in dosing observed to ensure tolerance.
What is the maximum dosage?
- The initial dose will be individualized with the maximum dose being 16 x 8 mg. Dilaudid tablets per day dispensed in a regulated schedule.
How is the medication tracked?
- The machine will be able to track in real time each package that is dispensed and a daily record will be reviewed.
What is the restocking process and rule for unused dosages?
- Each week the machine will be re-stocked and any pills that were not picked up will be returned to the pharmacy and destroyed as per pharmacy regulations.
Are you evaluating the data you collect?
- A comprehensive evaluation of the project is being conducted through the BCCSU.
What is the capacity of the machine?
- The MySafe machine can accommodate up to 48 participants at a time.
Here’s how this low-barrier method works
MySafe participants will receive hydromorphone (OHM) tablets on a pre-determined schedule through a dispensing machine accessed through biometrics. All participants will undergo a complete evaluation around their drug use, health status, and social situation. For the feasibility study, participants will be regular opioid users, have a history of overdose, and have fentanyl detected in their urine. There will be regular follow-up with a health professional and an opportunity to connect with staff at any time. MySafe is located next to the Overdose Prevention Site (OPS) on Hastings Street and participants may use this site to use their drugs if they choose.
This is a low-barrier way to access a safer opioid supply and offers a model that is scalable, relatively inexpensive, and is designed to open up the safe supply option for many people who would not be able or willing to enroll in a medically supervised program. It also creates opportunity for consistent monitoring, education and assistance to manage their drug use.
Our participants say…
“I was one of the first persons through the program here and its changing my whole life. Forming a great relationship with my grandchildren, I have an 18yr old I’ll be able to spend time with. And I’m not always running around looking to get well.”
“I want to get my life back in order, to a point that I can feel proud of myself and not feel like I’m less than human.”
“I used to have to wake up every monring, do crime. Or something to make money, but at least I know I can come here and it takes away all the stress and helps me stay out of jail, that’s for sure.”
“I don’t have to smoke fentanyl. It’s saving lives and I’m here to save mine.”