Over $1.8m announced to address substance use harms in Hamilton

eAwaz Health

Hamilton – To help support the response to the overdose crisis and address harms related to substance use and the toxic illegal drug supply, the Government of Canada has announced more than $1.8 million in funding for three innovative community-led projects in Hamilton, Ontario. With this funding, these projects will help improve health outcomes for people who are at risk of experiencing substance-related harms and overdose by scaling up prevention, harm reduction and treatment efforts.

Funding is provided through Health Canada’s Substance Use and Addictions Program (SUAP), which supports evidence-informed and innovative initiatives across a range of interventions—prevention, harm reduction and treatment—involving a broad range of legal and illegal substances. The backgrounder below provides a description for all projects receiving funding today through SUAP.

Hamilton, Ontario (total of $1,834,316)

Harm Reduction Outreach Project
City of Hamilton – Hamilton, ON
$287,551 over 24 months to build on existing outreach services provided for individuals who use drugs and are experiencing economic insecurity, issues related to housing/homelessness, and difficulties connecting to health and social services. This project will add two Harm Reduction Outreach Workers and one Peer Support Services Worker to meet the increasing need for services. The team will also work closely with the Aids Network and Mental Health and Street Outreach Program in the community to build their harm reduction capacity, coordinate services and improve care pathways.
Theme: Community-based
Funding Envelope: B2022

Measurement-based Care for Addiction: Multi-service Implementation, Clinical Automation, and Workforce Development
Research St. Joseph’s – Hamilton – Hamilton, ON
$1,235,383 over 25 months to expand St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton’s work in developing measurement-based care (MBC) for patients with substance use disorders who present with a variety of clinical addiction and concurrent disorders. This innovative, patient-centred model, includes point-of care assessment for both addiction and comorbidities and ongoing patient measurements to monitor changes and inform treatment adjustments that optimize care. MBC is an emerging healthcare model that employs systematic patient assessment to optimize diagnosis and steer therapeutic interventions for maximum success. The project will also engage in knowledge translation and knowledge mobilization activities to promote adoption of MBC for substance use disorder at four other large addiction and mental health facilities.
Theme: Community-based and treatment
Funding Envelope: B2022

Support and Safer Supply (SASS)
The AIDS Network (TAN) – Hamilton, ON
$311,382 added to the existing $875,882 already provided by SUAP to provide people who use drugs in Hamilton, Ontario with a pharmaceutical-grade medication as an alternative to the toxic illegal drug supply, and wraparound supports such as employment opportunities and access to harm reduction programming. The project will also create a trained peer support team to work with people who use drugs to achieve wellness and stability.
Theme: Safer supply and harm reduction
Funding envelope: Amendment