Seeking to address central Ohio’s ongoing opiate epidemic, Equitas Health has partnered with the Columbus Public Health Department for a comprehensive harm reduction program. That program is known as Safe Point.
We provide a comprehensive harm reduction model that includes:
- Linkage to Intervention—treatment & counseling
- HIV, Hepatitis C and STI testing and care
- Syringe access and safer use education
- Overdose prevention through increased access to Naloxone
- PrEP referrals
- 22G syringes for the trans community
The aim is reduce the negative consequences of drug use, reduce the overall level of drug consumption and help prevent new HIV and other blood-borne infections.
Safe Point is generously supported by funding from the Benua Foundation Field of Interest and Alice and Robert Estrich funds of The Columbus Foundation.
It should be noted that research by the World Health Organization (WHO) clearly demonstrates that syringe access programs do not increase drug use. Studies have also shown the costs of implementing such programs are drastically less than the cost of the lifetime treatment for an HIV-positive person or someone infected with Hepatitis C.
Further harm reduction services included the introduction of the first public pharmacy in Franklin County to dispense naloxone, a medication used to reverse opioid overdose, without a prescription.
NALOXONE ACCESS PROGRAM
Equitas Health is offering a limited program to provide increased access to naloxone, a medication used to reverse opioid overdose. When administered during an opioid overdose, naloxone reverses the effects of the overdose within seconds; however it must be administered while calling 911 for medical assistance. It is critical that medical assistance be provided, often times additional doses of naloxone are required for overdose reversal.
Individuals or family members who do not have health insurance or cannot afford the cost of naloxone may be eligible for assistance by completing an application for assistance at Equitas Health’s Short North Medical Center. A limited number of naloxone kits will be available at the Equitas Health Pharmacy to eligible patients on a first come, first-serve basis.
Click here for more information on Safe Point.