CCSA Survey: Substance Use in Canada 2020


Assessing the impact of the opioid overdose crisis on individuals providing harm reduction services across Canada: Survey

Welcome to the research survey. The following information is provided to inform you about the research. If you wish to participate in the research and complete the survey, you will be asked to click on a button later on this page to provide your consent.

Who is conducting this survey?

The survey is being conducted by the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction.

What is CCSA?

The Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction (CCSA) is Canada’s only national agency dedicated to reducing the harms of alcohol and other drugs on society, mobilizing knowledge, informing policy and practice, and improving services and supports. For more information about CCSA please visit

What is the purpose of the survey?

The purpose of this survey is to gather information on the experiences and needs of individuals who provide harm reduction services in the context of the ongoing opioid overdose crisis across Canada.

The intent is to understand better the benefits and challenges being experienced by people providing harm reduction services during the overdose crisis. Additionally, we would like to understand the services and supports that could be put in place to ensure the well-being of the people performing this work. The survey findings will be used to educate health system planners, and policy and decision makers about the experiences of individuals providing harm reduction services and how they can facilitate these services as one component of the response to opioid harms.

Who can participate?

The survey is open to individuals of legal age (18 years for Quebec, Alberta, Ontario, Saskatchewan, Prince Edward Island and Manitoba; 19 years for all other provinces and territories) to provide informed consent for research, and who reside in Canada and who provide harm reduction services to others in some capacity.

How long will it take to complete the survey?

Depending on how much information you choose to include in the open-ended questions, the survey takes approximately 30–35 minutes to complete.

What will happen to the information I provide?

This project has been reviewed by Advarra IRB, an independent ethics committee that reviewed the ethical aspects of this study to help protect the rights and welfare of study participants.

The survey will be hosted on a secure server located in Canada. Your individual responses are anonymous and confidential, with the exception of your email address should you choose to enter a draw for compensation. In this case, CCSA project staff will be the only ones to see the email address you provide, so absolute confidentiality cannot guaranteed. If you choose not to provide your email address, your identity will never become known to the researchers.

Publicly, the data collected by the survey will be reported as group results only, and personal information will not be identifiable in any reports that CCSA produces. If you choose to enter comments, we may quote your responses for emphasis in our reporting, but no identifying information will be included.

Representatives of the research ethics review board, Advarra IRB, may have access to the information collected for this study, at the study site, only in the case of an audit.

To enter the draw to win a $20 Tim Horton’s gift card after you have completed the survey, we will need you to provide an email address, which we will use to send you the e-gift card. You will have a one in five chance to win the gift card. The researchers who are analyzing the data will receive a data file that does not include any identifying information. The draw will take place once the data collection period has ended. There is no financial cost to you or your employer for study participation.

The results of this study will be presented in reports and publications available from CCSA. You can email if you would like information about the survey results.

What are the risks of the study?

You could feel uncomfortable when answering some of the questions in the survey. Contact information for general help phone lines will be provided throughout the survey.

What if I am not comfortable answering a survey question?

At any time in the survey, if there are any questions you do not feel comfortable answering, please skip the question, and continue to the next question that you feel comfortable answering. You can also stop and leave the survey at any time. If you prefer, you can save your progress and return to complete the survey when you have more time; however, this would require you to provide a user name and email address to obtain a password to return to the survey.

Alternatives to participation

This  study is for research purposes only. The only alternative is to not participate in it.


Information learned from the study could help improve services and supports available to you and others who provide harm reduction services in the future.

Voluntary participation

Your decision to participate in this study is voluntary. You can choose not to participate or you can withdraw from the study for any reason without penalty or loss of benefits to which you are otherwise entitled.

If at any point during the survey you experience any troubling thoughts or feelings and would like to speak to a mental health professional, click on the link below to access a list of help lines you can contact for assistance. This link will also appear on every page of the survey.

General Help Lines

Who can I contact about the survey?

If you experience technical difficulties with the survey, please contact

If you have any concerns about the survey or how it is being conducted, please email You can also request a copy of the information provided about the study.

An institutional review board (IRB) is an independent committee established to help protect the rights of research subjects. If you have any questions about your rights as a research subject, and/or concerns or complaints regarding this research study, contact:

    • By mail:
      Study Subject Adviser
      Advarra IRB
      6940 Columbia Gateway Drive, Suite 110
      Columbia, MD 21046
    • By telephone, toll free: 877-992-4724

Please reference the following number when contacting the Study Subject Adviser: Pro00034019.

How do I participate?

If you understand the information above and would like to complete the research survey, please indicate your consent to participate by clicking the button below.

The survey will close on approximately September 30, 2019.

Click here to consent to participate in the survey.



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