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Safer supply program expands to rural Wellington

Safer supply is a health service that permits medical doctors and nurse practitioners to prescribe medications that reduce or eliminate a client’s reliance on the toxic illegal drug supply
20210525 Stonehenge RAAM van exterior submitted
Rapid Access Addiction Medical (RAAM) mobile clinic. Submitted photo

NEWS RELEASE
STONEHENGE THERAPEUTIC COMMUNITY AND GUELPH COMMUNITY HEALTH CENTRE
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A program that has proven beneficial in combating the escalating overdose crisis in Guelph has been expanded to rural Wellington, thanks to $560,000 in funding from Health Canada’s Substance Use and Addictions Program for a safer supply program.

Safer supply is a health service that permits medical doctors and nurse practitioners to prescribe medications that reduce or eliminate a client’s reliance on the toxic illegal drug supply. Through the program, individuals with complex addictions are also supported by a wraparound team of healthcare professionals including substance use counselling, peer support, and connections to social and health services.

“Our government is committed to ending the overdose crisis and eliminating the increasingly toxic drug supply in this country,” said the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions and Associate Minister of Health. “Supporting safer supply pilot projects, like the one led by the Guelph Community Health Centre and in partnership with Stonehenge Therapeutic Community, represent truly important steps in the comprehensive approach to saving lives. By working together, from the federal to the community level, we will prevent overdoses, improve health outcomes, and save lives.”

Qualifying Guelph residents have had access to Safer supply services through the Guelph Community Health Centre (Guelph CHC) since April 2022. Now, Stonehenge Therapeutic Community (STC) is pleased to partner with Guelph CHC to meet the needs of rural Wellington residents.

“COVID-19 has contributed to a rise in substance use and isolation, and the drug supply on the street is too often poisoned, putting community members at significant risk of fatal overdose,” says Kristin Kerr, executive director of STC. “This funding will help us address the gaps in harm reduction tools that continue to exist for rural residents.”

Between January 2020 and March 2022 there have been 52 known fatal overdoses in Guelph. STC launched the Safer Supply program in June 2022, operating out of its Mount Forest office location at 229 Main St. South. The program will also be accessible through any of STC’s Rapid Access Addiction Medicine (RAAM) clinic locations.

Visit www.raamww.ca or call 1-844-722- 2977 for more information.

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