What health issue facing Nova Scotians are you most passionate about? Why?
[Transcribed] How did she say so Nova scotians that I am most passionate about is the limited access to evidence-based reduction and mental health treatments. When I had this is that with in Nova Scotia, there is currently no drug checking programs and only one supervised injection site, which is very restrictive in the nature in which it operates as well as is only located in an urban center of downtown Halifax. The reason why I think this is an issue,
You is that supervised injection services along with Services? We don't have here such as drug checking and supervised inhalation services or evidence-based harm reduction strategies that and allow individuals who have are active in their substance use and living with addictions to safely use the safely use of substances that they desire this is important because it provides them with a safe space which ultimately is effective for public health and
public health reasons because if you provide individuals with safe space, they're less likely to share contaminated equipment as well as their drugs, which can
Which can prevent the spread of HIV and hcv which are chronic conditions that have both High tolls on the individuals mental and physical health as well as large costs associate to the Healthcare System additionally services like drug checking Services. I feel like are important and should be in Nova Scotia because we are currently living in a time where individuals do not have access to Safe Supply and as all there is some safe Supply programs Nova Scotia that it
Jewels, in which are providing them are really overwhelmed with the request for their services and ultimately the medicalized model is not currently working for everyone who is living with mental health and addictions by allowing drug tracking services to be accessible to individuals who are active in their substance use they are able to gain the knowledge about what is in their drug and ultimately that provides them with the health Edge need to make their own decisions about their health, which can help mitigate the risk of both non-fatal.
Fatal overdose as well as provide a sense of autonomy in controlled individual using drugs over which their what are they going to put in their body? It also serves as a great means to allow individuals to engage in Healthcare Systems in which they traditionally would not engage with I feel passionate about this because for two years, I worked as an epidemiologist and one of the projects I've worked on actually operated or of a supervised injection site and what I did here was both interview individuals.
To understand the barriers that they may have encountered to try to accessing such Services as well as operated drug checking program in which individuals could come to the site and they could drop off a piece of their drug that they did not intend to use and supervised injection site or get their drug tested before the injected.
I thought this was a really great model because to me it allowed really positive Health conversations with the individuals. Not only were they able to know what was in their drug to make their own health decisions, but it really served as an Avenue for us to talk to them about different Health behaviors like such as using a test dose or potentially throwing out the drug or even mitigating the way they having them use a supervised injection site that they were not originally open to as a means to have positive.
the conversations and this in turn facilitate some really positive relationships with clients where we were able to discuss the broader picture what was contributing to their drug use such as lack of housing lack of income and ultimately provide them with wraparound supports which allowed some individuals become more stable in their drug use which has positive outcomes for both mental and physical health as well as allowed some individuals to transition off active use into treatment by linking them up with resources that
Only they were not comfortable accessing because of medicalized models. I'm passionate about this because not only have I work new experience. But also I feel like all Community should have access to this time reduction mechanisms in order to best support the most positive Health outcomes for our community and have Equitable access across a smaller Province like to those which bigger problems is such as British Columbia and Ontario are providing for their citizens.