In response to the urgent need for harm reduction services in our communities, SOAHAC is partnering with the Middlesex London Health Unit (MLHU), Regional HIV/AIDS Connection (RHAC), and other health agencies, to provide services at London’s Temporary Overdose Prevention Site (TOPS). The location, announced late last week, will be at 186 King Street, sharing space with RHAC, with services launching in February, 2018. SOAHAC will be providing part-time staffing resources, supporting the TOPS services to be culturally safe and trauma-informed for Indigenous clients, and assisting clients to connect with primary health care and support services as appropriate.
“It’s really important that our clients have a safe environment to go to that’s culturally safe and trauma informed so we’re hoping to provide a part of that aspect,” says Miranda Campbell, Clinical Services Director.
This partnership is one component of SOAHAC’s strategy to address the opioid crisis in our communities. TOPS are shown to be effective at reducing the health risks associated with substance use, including overdose, HIV/AIDS, Hep C, and other blood-borne illness. In the short-term, they save lives and prevent illness. In the long-term, they can provide an opportunity to connect with people who use substances so that they are better supported for ongoing healing and recovery related to drug use.
SOAHAC clients and Indigenous community members can connect with a SOAHAC staff to learn how we can support them to use drugs more safely or to stop using altogether.