The Regional Municipality Of York

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Substance Use and Harm Reduction Information for Health Professionals

Harm reduction is an approach that aims to reduce drug-related harm experienced by individuals and communities without necessarily reducing the consumption of drugs.

People who use drugs may require access to various services and/or, don’t always disclose their drug use to their health care provider.

York Region Public Health encourages health professionals to follow these five recommendations:

Encourage Patients to Access Harm Reduction Services

Harm reduction services and supplies are available at no cost from:

Harm reduction services can offer a range of services including:

  • Harm reduction supply distribution (needle exchange/supplies, safer crack/crystal meth smoking supplies)
  • Naloxone kit distribution and opioid overdose recognition and response training
  • Counselling and support
  • General nursing care
  • Support and referral to community agencies

Note: Clients may self-refer to services listed above.

Rapid Access to Addiction Medicine (RAAM) Clinics

A Rapid Access Addiction Medicine (RAAM) clinic is a low-barrier, walk-in clinic that patients can attend to get help for a substance use disorder without an appointment or formal referral. RAAM clinics provide time-limited medical addiction care (including pharmacotherapy, brief counselling, and referrals to community services). Please bring your health card.

RAMM Clinics in York Region can be found at:

  • Mackenzie Health Hospital (Richmond Hill)
  • Markham Stouffville Hospital (Markham)
  • Southlake Regional Health Centre (Newmarket)

For location, contact information and hours for York Region RAAM Clinics, visit Addiction Services for York Region

Please note: Due to COVID-19, organizations may have changed their service delivery and hours of operation. It will be helpful to call ahead first. Please refer to COVID-19: Guidance Document for Service Providers-Substance Use & Harm Reduction.

For more information on how to become a harm reduction supplies and distribution site, call 1-877-464-9675 ext. 76683 or email substance@york.ca

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Educate Patients About Where to Get Naloxone Kits

Educate clients on the benefits of having a naloxone kit and where they can get one.

Naloxone kits are provided free-of-charge for people who are:

  • at risk of an opioid overdose
  • a family member, friend or other person able to help someone at risk of an opioid overdose

Where are kits available?

For more information on how to become a naloxone distributor, call 1-877-464-9675 ext. 76683 or email substance@york.ca

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Share These Five Key Messages About Reducing Opioid Overdose Risk with Your Patients

  1. Obtain a naloxone kit at no cost. Encourage your family and friends to get a naloxone kit too.
  2. If someone is experiencing an overdose, call 911 and give naloxone. Start chest compressions. If the person does not respond after two to three minutes, give another dose of naloxone. Do not leave the person alone.
  3. If you haven’t used for a while, or if you have a new dealer or new source, do a test amount, start low and go slow.
  4. Do not use alone. If using alone, tell someone, so they can check on you.
  5. If you would like help with your substance use contact a Rapid Access to Addiction Medicine (RAAM) clinic.
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Follow the Opioids Guideline

Follow the 2017 Canadian Guideline for Opioids for Chronic Non-Cancer Pain.

Supports for health care provider:

Substance Use and Stigma

Supporting Health Care Providers - Opioid Use Disorder

Definition of “Problematic Opioid Use”.
This six-part program provides an overview of key concepts and skills for clinicians facing common challenges in the management of patients with chronic pain, including reducing the risks of opioids and addressing opioid use disorder.
The Opioid Use Disorder (OUD) Tool aims to guide primary care providers through the identification and management of individuals who have problems with opioid use. It includes a step-by-step approach for initiating and maintaining Opioid Agonist Treatment (OAT) with buprenorphine-naloxone.
This guideline strongly recommends opioid agonist treatment with buprenorphine–naloxone as the preferred first-line treatment when possible, because of buprenorphine’s multiple advantages, which include a superior safety profile in terms of overdose risk.
This link contains the quality standard; the guide for patients; an information brief demonstrating why the quality standard is needed; quality improvement tools and resources; and performance indicators to help clinicians and organizations track their progress against the standard.
Explore the most recent opioid-related morbidity and mortality data.
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Provide Support Services

Supports for clients/patients:

Naloxone education for clients/patients

Refer clients/patients for treatment

A rapid access addiction medicine (RAAM) clinic is a low-barrier, walk-in clinic that patients can attend to get help for a substance use disorder without an appointment or formal referral. RAAM clinics provide time-limited medical addiction care (including pharmacotherapy, brief counselling, and referrals to community services).
Find health care providers across the Central region of Ontario.
Provides free and confidential health services information on resources for people experiencing problems with alcohol and drugs, mental illness or gambling. This information includes:
  • where the service is located
  • how to access the service
  • how long the wait to access the service may be

It is not a counselling site. Funded by the Government of Ontario.

Online and in-person by LHIN self-management courses for patients.
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Reporting bad drugs in York Region

Report Bad Drugs (york.ca/reportbaddrugs) is an anonymous, online reporting tool for community partners and the public. Anyone with a concern or bad experience with street drugs or overdoses in the community can use the tool to share information with York Region Public Health.

Report Bad Drugs Tool Q&A

The information you provide will be reviewed by York Region Public Health staff and used to inform public health actions in the community. The reports are anonymous and no personal or identifying information will be collected. If you have any questions or feedback, please contact the York Region Public Health Substance Use Prevention and Harm Reduction Program at 1-877-464-9675 ext. 76683 or substance@york.ca

This reporting tool is not for emergencies. If you are experiencing an emergency, call 911 immediately.


 


opioids,addiction,substances The Regional Municipality of York en-US Substance Use and Harm Reduction Information Substance Use and Harm Reduction Information for Health Professionals Harm reduction information for healthcare professionals who have clients that use substances, reducing the risk of opioid overdose, and resources regarding opioid substitution.

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