January 26, 2022
The pandemic has hit Ontario’s homeless hard, resulting in a higher rate of hospitalization and death
A report released on Tuesday, January 18th by Unity Health and the Ontario Drug Policy Research Network found that half of all Ontarians who died of a drug overdose in the early stages of the pandemic had interacted with the healthcare system in the month before their deaths.
This report highlights both the urgency of the situation along with the opportunity for healthcare teams to increase their support for individuals who use drugs. The authors of the Unity Health study are calling for a safer drug supply, expanded access to low-barrier treatment in health-care settings, affordable, supportive housing as well as more harm-reduction services and supervised consumption sites, especially in rural areas.
At the South Georgian Bay CHC, we serve a high-risk population and understand the importance of providing low-barrier support to clients who use drugs. In addition to offering individualized care for clients with mental health and addictions issues, we offer free harm reduction services for clients and community members. Our goal is to create a safe and welcoming space where individuals feel comfortable to ask questions and access additional counselling/support services, if desired.
Where to access support
If you or a family member are in need of support, please contact us at 705-422-1888 or stop by the clinic to access our needle exchange program or meet with a Rapid Access to Addiction Medicine (RAAM) clinic staff member.