A Drug User Health Hub

Bringing a New Level of Care to the Bronx

A central component of the services we provide at SACHR is the Drug User Health Package. It can be best described as a comprehensive set of interventions aimed at addressing the needs of injecting drug users in the South Bronx. The approach is flexible and multilayered, and is delivered to the community through outreach teams, community venues, peer overdose responders, licensed social workers, and medical clinicians.

For drug users in the Bronx, we believe that the following components should be included in the health package: syringe access and disposal, sexual health, HIV/AIDS interventions, Hepatitis prevention and treatment services, opiate overdose prevention, access to a continuum of drug treatment modalities including harm reduction interventions, and access to health care, mental health sector, and other relevant sectors of care.

People with substance use challenges are often at risk for a multitude of problems which can result in high medical and social costs. Typically, they receive healthcare primarily through emergency room visits and hospitalizations, both of which are very expensive. Stigmatized for their substance use, there is little or no coordination of care to effectively address their multiple health problems and little or no integration of their medical care with needed social services. They typically receive only acute care, with no focus on prevention or management of chronic conditions. Health care workers also frequently discriminate against these drug users. Finally, their drug use itself and their multiple other problems may make it difficult for them to adhere to medical treatment regimens. SACHR’s Health Hub will focus on addressing the full spectrum of need. Rather than only dealing with problems after they have arisen, evidence based prevention strategies that emphasize patient dialogue and respect will be integral to our approach.

Program Summary

1.a: The goals of SACHR’s Drug User Health Hub (DUHH) program are:

  • Reduce the incidence of overdose in the Bronx.
  • Increase access to Medicated Assisted Treatment (MAT).
  • Improved Care Coordination to get PWID into primary care, HIV & HCV treatment, and out of ambulances, emergency rooms, Medicaid mills, and unfortunate hospitalizations.

1.b: The HUB funding will support services and activities like:

  • Social media and publications/cartoons to PWUD, YPWID, and sub-populations at the intersection of high risk:  previous/active/episodic substance users who have been subject to and/or protected from punitive State action; covert PWUD; and, those who are drug naïve/curious. The focus will be ‘normalization’ through a harm reduction approach.
  • Build up to 24/7 harm reduction facility in the 149th/3rd Ave Hub (currently funded by NYCDOHMH).
  • Expand our low threshold Buprenorphine program.
  • Improve access to HIV & HCV treatment, primary care through coordination and linkage.
  • Good Neighbor Initiative – Anti-Stigma Community Mobilization w/PWUDs to reclaim their role in community through community-building activities.

1.c: The SACHR Hub will continue/amplify engagement with community stakeholders through:

  • IDUHA (regular monthly meetings).
  • EngageWell IPA
  • Syringe Outreach and Response Team (SORT): collecting discarded syringe litter in identified neighborhood “hot spots”.  A NYCDOHMH collaboration with other SEP and the NYC Parks Department.
  • Participation at Community Board meetings, Precinct Council meetings, Bronx Opioid Collective, the BX DA’s Opioid Taskforce, the Longwood/Hunts Point Task Force.
  • CADI: 3rd Ave BID, meetings with NYPD, business owners, faith community and other community members.
  • Eliminate Stigma by centering PWUD talents and skills through community cultural mobilization with Pregones/PRTT.