Innovative solutions are crucial to addressing the complex challenges surrounding the overdose crisis, and Sunshine Labs hopes to be a beacon of evidence-based progress in the area of Safer Supply. However, There are some misconceptions about us that we want to acknowledge and clarify. In this article, we will challenge these myths, shedding light on the mission of Sunshine Labs.
By delving into the core principles and practices that define us, we aim to counter misinformation and present an accurate presentation of our goals to create a safer path for individuals struggling with substance use.
Our Dealer’s License allows us to produce, assemble, sell and transport (import/export) several controlled substances. This includes methamphetamine, MDMA, Psilocybin, Coca leaf, Cocaine, Morphine, Diacetylmorphine (heroin), and Opium. All products, including our unique nutraceuticals, follow current Good Manufacturing Practice (cGMP and euGMP).
Our laboratory is legally authorized to research the medicinal uses of restricted substances, and traditional whole plants, as well as the benefits of their pharmaceutical extracts. Sunshine Labs operates under Health Canada’s Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA). We are committed to the safe, effective, and sustainable use of plant medicines.
We do not sell or distribute controlled substances to the general public.
Our Health Canada licensing allows us to to produce, assemble, sell, and transport to other licensed dealers or authorization holders. This means that our controlled substances are directly handled by medical professionals for purposes of licensed prescribed Safer Supply.
Health Canada lists who a licensed dealer may sell or provide a controlled substance to. This includes:
- Another licensed dealer
- A pharmacist
- A practitioner
- A hospital employee
- A person who is exempted under section 56
- To the Minister
Why we need Safer Supply
According to the BC Coroners Service, 84% of Unregulated Drug Deaths in BC have involved Fentanyl contaminations in 2023 so far. June 2023 has had a 17% increase in Unregulated Drug Deaths compared to June 2022, to the amount of 6.1 deaths per day on average. The BCCS has also stated that prescribed Safer Supply has not contributed to the number of deaths.
Having a Safe Supply of controlled substances is essential to saving lives. An example of a successful Safer Supply program is the Opioid Agonist Therapy program in BC. This program provides individuals with access to methadone, buprenorphine/naloxone, and slow-release oral morphine as a safer alternative to the street drugs that may be contaminated with fentanyl. In the first six months of the program, there was a 98% decrease in fentanyl-related overdose deaths among program participants.
Another notable example is the Portland Hotel Society in Vancouver, Canada. Participants in the program receive regulated doses of pharmaceutical-grade drugs such as hydromorphone, dilaudid, and morphine, which they can take under supervision. The program has been hugely successful in reducing overdose deaths in the community. Between 2016 and 2018, the Portland Hotel Society’s safer supply program saw a 74% reduction in overdose deaths among program participants. Read more about these studies in our Blog Post.
Prescribed Safer Supply does not contribute to or perpetuate overdoses or promote addiction, it allows people to secure housing, employment, and addiction treatment – without the risk of an overdose death. Safer Supply programs can also provide individuals with the support they need to address the underlying issues that may be driving their drug use in the form of counseling and support groups.
The call for Safer Supply comes from numerous reputable sources, including:
The First Nations Health Authority, the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police, the Federal Government of Canada, the Chief Coroner of BC, BC’s Provincial Health Officer and is supported by the the BC Center for Disease Control.
Sunshine Labs is proud to be a part of the future of Safer Supply for overdose prevention and reducing Unregulated Drug Deaths in BC. We are licensed by Health Canada to provide a source of Safe Supply to other licensed facilities, and are evidence-based in our approach to helping solve the toxic drug crisis and save lives. You can join us at sunshinelabs.life to learn more about our mission.