Syringe Services Programs (SSPs) Prevent Disease and Save Lives

Newly released data from the Philadelphia Department of Health's CHART publication details the effectiveness of Syringe Services Programs (SSPs) and their ability to both prevent the spread of disease and save lives. Since the 1980s, hundreds of studies have continued to show SSPs are effective public health interventions that avert infections, save millions of dollars in public funds, and increase engagement with both social and medical services, and, oftentimes, substance use treatment.
The Health Federation of Philadelphia (HFP) is committed to increasing access to programs that improve health outcomes for people who use substances.  HFP's Substance Use Response Guidance and Education (SURGE) program aims to increase access and improve the quality of treatment for health conditions related to substance use and substance use disorders in medical settings, with a special focus on primary care providers. 
On August 4th, SURGE will be hosting a Basics of Injection Drug Use and Harm Reduction training for Philadelphia area providers who treat people who use substances. The incidence of infected wounds as a result of injection drug use (IDU) is increasing. Providers and healthcare teams are essential in communicating how to prevent wounds and infection from occurring. This program will describe how drugs are commonly administered to inform providers and healthcare teams how best to communicate safer IDU methods in a harm reductionist and patient-centered manner to persons who inject drugs.
"Medical training excludes information about illicit drug use practices that impact health outcomes.  With the continued rise in morbidity and mortality associated with drug use, it is critical that providers understand how patients use substances and learn how to apply harm reduction interventions to influence their patients' risk for overdose and infection," said Catherine Abrams, MPH, MMT, SURGE Program Coordinator.  "We have plenty of room available at this online, interactive training on Thursday, August 4 so we hope to see some new faces there!" Click here to register.