Provider Education Series

A STEP Towards Harm Reduction

December 7th - 3 pm

Syringe service programs have always been met with resistance because they challenge drug-related stigma while prioritizing the human rights and dignity of people who use drugs. This workshop will focus on creating safe access points in your community that does not focus directly on total abstinence, but instead focus on engagement and empowering the individual where they are at with an undertone of addressing conditions of drug use along with the drug use itself. Wellness Services STEP program involves Naloxone/Narcan distribution, free HIV/HCV testing, free access to syringes, and other harm reduction supplies. STEP emphasizes building rapport and trust first while engaging readiness for testing and treatment. This has led to an increase in HIV/HCV testing and treatment services for Flint's IDU (injection drug user) population and helped to reduce the number of HIV/HCV cases related to injection drug use.

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Drug Checking to Support People Who Use Drugs

December 7th - 5 pm

Drug checking in the United States is a relatively new public health intervention to support the health and autonomy of people who use drugs. From a public health perspective, the motivations behind pursuing drug checking are to attempt to address the major issue of the adulteration of the illicit drug supply. For on the ground harm reductionists and activists, drug checking is a mechanism of reducing risk but also for pleasure maximization. This workshop will provide background and history to how drug checking began, a snapshot of how drug checking is evolving within the US, including different drug checking methods being used by harm reduction activists and drug checking technicians around the country. This workshop will also cover general considerations when thinking about building a drug-checking program, including technology, cost, legalities, and implementation. There will be time for Q&A at the end of the session.

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Community Organizing w/ Drug Users

December 9th - 5 pm

This workshop will give an overview of the drug user organizing movement from 2006 - 2020. This movement has changed how we think about Harm Reduction, the war on drugs, and drug users (notice how the word "addict" is not being used). Drug user organizers were pointing out injustices in the criminal justice system and have a record of diverse leadership many movements are only recently beginning to have. We will survey the work of drug user organizing in San Francisco, New York, North Carolina, and Seattle. This workshop will be helpful for anyone working with drug users as service providers or policymakers. This workshop can be referenced with cross-cultural studies and community organizing, BIPOC movements, post-feminist and queer studies, and online and community organizing.

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When the Professional and Personal Overlap: Providing Care within your Own Community

December 15th - 4 pm

This workshop will aim to discuss the experiences of providers who are working with clients/patients who share similar backgrounds and identities. Ethical considerations, maintaining boundaries, and managing transference and countertransference will all be explored. Ways to minimize the prospective negative outcomes of dual relationships, as well as benefits and opportunities that can exist when providers and patients share identities will also be examined. This workshop looks to discuss, share, support, and manage these feelings in order to provide the best care to patients with minimal harm, and to protect a provider's professional career as well as allow them the freedom to participate in their own communities and express their personal identities. This workshop incorporates mental health, health disparities, minority populations, cultural competence, provider challenges, social justice, ethics, and direct practice.

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Social Services, Entitlements and Assistance Programs for PLWHA

December 16th - 4 pm

This workshop will explore the common social programs and entitlements often accessed by PLWHA in Michigan. Services and eligibility for programs including: Ryan White, ADAP or the Michigan Drug Assistance Program (MIDAP), Insurance Assistance Program, Premium Assistance, Medicaid, Medicare, Affordable Care Act plans, Social Security Disability, Supplemental Security Income, the Michigan Dental Program (MDP) and Housing Opportunities for People with HIV/AIDS (HOPWHA) will be discussed. This workshop incorporates education, entitlements, and program eligibility information.

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