DAP Health rolls out harm reduction program to provide care for people living with addiction
Contact: Leighton Ginn
Public Relations Specialist
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Program approved Jan. 10, 2022 by the California Department of Public Health
This Spring, DAP Health will unveil its harm reduction program that will have two components. First, Overdose prevention and secondly a Syringe Services Program (SSP) that will include health services and behavioral health support to combat the rise in preventable overdoses and the increase in new HIV cases.
The multi-layered program will focus on education for the community, HIV and Hepatitis C testing, distribution and collection of syringes and referrals to support folks through their addiction journey.
Additional services to be provided: Naloxone/Narcan to reverse overdose and prevent death, and Fentanyl test strips for testing drugs before use to decrease likelihood of overdose.
In the latest preliminary data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 100,000 people in the U.S. died from overdoses during the 12-month period from April 2020 through April 2021. (https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/vsrr/drug-overdose-data.htm)
In Riverside County, there has been an 800 percent increase in fentanyl-related deaths since 2016, according to Rivco.org. (https://www.rivco.org/news/riverside-county-committee-combat-fentanyl-abuse).
Palm Springs has an overdose death rate 300 percent higher than the state average.
Palm Springs Police Department Chief Andy Mills was able to review the harm reduction program and was impressed with how complete it is.
“It’s important to remember the dynamics that go into a program like this,” Mills says. “That’s what excites me. Not only is DAP Health looking at helping people, but genuinely helping people so they are not destructive to themselves or our community.”
DAP Health is only the second state certified Syringe Services Program (SSP) in Riverside County, which is the 10th most populated county in the United States.
Because of the rising numbers, Secretary of Health and Human Services, Xavier Bacerra says the federal government supports harm reduction, which includes direct support and care to people who actively struggle with substance misuse.
“DAP Health will begin deepening our relationship with people living with addiction by adding a harm reduction approach to our first-aid kit of solutions,” says C.J. Tobe, the Director of Community Health and Sexual Wellness. “We will do this without stigma or judgment because you cannot treat someone who does not trust you. Harm reduction is an important tactic in DAP Health’s ongoing work to end the HIV epidemic. Work that begins with meeting folks where they are.”
- Overdose prevention
- Safer injecting
- Risk reduction counseling
- Education to community partners
- Free HIV/HCV testing
- Fentanyl strips for testing drugs before use to decrease likelihood of overdose
- Naloxone/Narcan to reverse overdose and prevent death
- Phone number and email to DAP Health for the community to report used syringes that need to be picked up and disposed of, or to request education related to harm reduction strategies at HarmReduction@DAPHealth.org or 760 992-0453.
- New syringes and intake/dispose of used syringes
- New injecting supplies
- Safer sex kits
- Safer smoking kits
- Substance use counselors
- Outpatient Drug Free program DAP Health
- Local recovery and treatment centers
- DAP Health’s peer support specialist
- Early Intervention Specialist (EIS) for anyone with HIV and/or Hepatitis C for treatment
- Insurance enrollment and connection to health care and other social support services
- DAP Health’s Sexual Wellness Clinic (Orange Clinic) for STI testing and/or Pre-exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP)
- Food and housing
About DAP Health
DAP Health is an advocacy-based health center in Palm Springs, Calif., serving more than 10,000 patients, offering medical and mental health care, STI testing and treatment, dentistry, pharmacy, and lab services. A variety of wraparound services enable patients to experience optimal health, including social services, support groups, alternative therapies, and other wellness services. Excellent HIV care is provided by the largest team of specialized clinicians in the area.
DAP Health opened one of California’s first COVID clinics and hotlines to offer screening, testing, and treatment. DAP Health also is working to address the social determinants of health that are causing negative health outcomes during this pandemic, like food and housing insecurity, joblessness, isolation, and access to ongoing healthcare.
DAP Health’s sexual health clinic offers STI testing and treatment, pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP), and HIV and hepatitis C (HCV) testing. DAP Health has earned Charity Navigator’s highest rating for the twelfth consecutive year — landing DAP in the top 6% of nonprofits rated. The distinction recognizes that DAP Health exceeds industry standards in terms of financial health, accountability, and transparency.
Visit www.daphealth.org to learn more.