Programming Connection

keepSIX Supervised Consumption Service 

South Riverdale Community Health Centre

2019

Challenges

  • Social services may be over-capacity for referrals
    One of the challenges the team faces is that external services/agencies may not have the capacity to provide the requested services for keepSIX’s users. For instance, shelter, housing and drug treatment programs are difficult to access.
  • Longer intake process for service users
    Compared with temporary overdose prevention sites, SCS has a lengthier process for registration, intake and assessment. This can be perceived as invasive and onerous both by staff and by service users who access both models. keepSIX staff learned the importance of distinguishing between overdose prevention sites and SCS, being transparent and explaining the Health Canada exemption requirements.
  • Destigmatizing drug use and understanding the SCS as a harm reduction and healthcare service
    For service users, using drugs in front of staff (and strangers) is intimidating and requires a leap of faith. Time is needed to establish service user trust, both to use the SCS and to engage in additional wraparound services.
  • Limitations around assistance with injection
    keepSIX has been part of a pilot study to allow service users who have difficulty with self-injection to receive assistance from a peer. As per Health Canada’s exemption regulations, SCS staff are not currently allowed to assist, which creates problems for service users who do not have someone they trust to help them in this way.

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