2017: Harm Reduction in the House: Resourceful Resistance


Harm Reduction in the House 2017

Resourceful Resistance

Mundelein Center for Fine and Performing Arts
at Loyola University, 1020 W. Sheridan Rd., Chicago
9:00 a.m.- 5:00 p.m. – 15 September 2017

The 7th annual Harm Reduction in the House conference took place on the 15th of September 2017

Last year, we focused on growing from our roots, getting back to basics, and evolving from there. This year has seen particular challenges in a new political landscape that threatens the very core of our work. Together at this conference, we came together as a creative community to build resourceful resistance for us to continue our work as we’ve always done and brave the oncoming storm.

Welcome & Opening Session- Listening Session with the National Harm Reduction Coalition: A candid conversation about the state of harm reduction in the Midwest 

Presented by Harm Reduction Coalition Executive Director Monique Tula and Deputy Director of Planning & Policy Daniel Raymond

  • What are the most important issues affecting people who use drugs in your community?
  • What is your community’s response to the opioid crisis? Are you seeing missed opportunities for advancing drug user health?
  • What are the most effective partnerships that are advancing harm reduction strategies?
  • How are people who use drugs involved in decision-making?
  • How can Harm Reduction Coalition help support your communities?

Harm Reduction Futures Initiative

Harm Reduction Coalition is embarking upon an ambitious plan that we believe will set the course for the future of harm reduction in this country. In the second half of 2017, we will launch the Harm Reduction Futures Initiative: a wide-ranging project to envision the next decade of harm reduction as a diverse, robust, and sustainable movement for social change and structural transformation. Harm Reduction Coalition will enlist our broad network of programs, advocates, and allies to imagine how we can collectively reconfigure our work through new forms of regional organizing, coalition-building, and solidarity with public health organizations and other social and racial justice movements. We will harness our collective advocacy and capacity-building expertise to support emerging leaders and foster new collaborations.

LGBT-faQ: Marginalized and Magical

Presented by Kimber Brightheart, MSW

We all work with LGBTQ individuals, and often times lack the necessary resources to know if we are providing the appropriate interventions and care. Research regarding LGBTQ service disparities suggests that maybe we are not. LGBTQ individuals are at high risks of experiencing homelessness, substance use disorders, mental illness, victimization, and suicide, and as providers it is our responsibility to ensure that they have access to the care they need. The insidious trauma of marginalization is oft overlooked even in trauma informed care environments, resulting in LGBTQ clients not getting the trauma informed, harm reduction focused interventions they need. To benefit LGBTQ individuals, we must understand their barriers to care, how to create and maintain safer and inclusive spaces, and how to utilize harm reduction and client centered approaches.

Powerpoint: LGBTfaQ PDF

Contact: kimberbrightheart@gmail.com

Healing Through Writing and Art

Presented by Bee Britt

I want to break down the barriers created by social constructs about the literary world. I have been touring this workshop across the US speaking to people of all races, genders, and backgrounds about healing through self-publishing and the importance everyone’s voice has. I firmly believe everyone is a storyteller, a writer, and an artist. Some of us just need to be given the tools to tell those stories in a way they feel confident about.

Community Driven Supportive Housing Solutions

Presented by Joel Williams and Cassandra Avenatti, LCSW

Finding funding for supportive housing units can be extraordinarily challenging, and the funding often comes with burdensome regulatory or other strings attached. Those regulations may prohibit otherwise appropriate people from getting into housing, or may make it difficult to actually practice harm reduction or a housing first philosophy. This session will explore alternative ways to secure funding for difficult to serve populations, and how those programs can benefit the most vulnerable.

Lunch provided
Harm Reduction with the Justice-involved Population in Chicago – Naloxone, Diversion, and Supportive Release

Presented by Maya Doe-Simkins, MPH, Matthew Van Etten, MA, LCPC, Ronald Johnson, BA

In this session, providers working with the justice-involved population will share their experiences in implementing three different harm reduction practices: naloxone access and training in a jail setting, diversion programs, and the new Supportive Release Center (SRC). Speakers will discuss how their programs were developed, and how their approach to harm reduction best serves this population

The Bousek Timeline Project

Presented by Jackie Bousek, LCPC, ATR and Brittlyn Riley-Meade, LCPC, ATR

Rooted in a harm reduction approach addressing drug, set and setting, “The Bousek Timeline Project” is an art directive that explores an individual’s history of substance use and life experiences. This directive is used to help people reduce harm, develop self-awareness regarding behavioral patterns, and gain the resources to help them individually make informed decisions in all aspects of their life. Through a discussion of “The Bousek Timeline Project”’s history, application, and case examples of the implementation, the presenters aim to teach participants how to use this directive as a tool in working with others.

Powerpoint: The Bousek Timeline Project for HR Website

Contact: jackiebouseklcpc@gmail.com brittlyn.arttherapy@gmail.com

Pushing the Harm Reduction Envelope

Presented by Erica C. Ernst, LCSW, RDDP, EMT-P, CADC, & Desirie McKay, LCSW

Harm Reduction housing utilizing Housing First is the gold standard, but there is always more that we can do and provide. We are all on a continuum regarding Harm Reduction. Clinical and housing services do not need to be separate from other resources such as health care, and safer use supplies. Advocacy and education with many stakeholders, including landlords and other agencies is also key. This workshop will explore the ways two providers worked to expand their reach, and discuss ways to implement such interventions and resources at your agency through collective brainstorming, Q and A, and resource sharing.

Powerpoint: Pushing the HR Envelope Final

Contact: eernst@rssichicago.org desloves@yahoo.com

Medication-Assisted Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder: From Suboxone to Support Systems

Presented by Ursula Wagner, LCSW, Juleigh Nowinski Konchak, MD, MPH, & Cleveland Hester

This presentation will focus on harm reduction techniques that are specifically used in a medical setting that includes both medication (MAT) and therapeutic support for participants with opioid use disorders (OUDs). The presenters, one a prescriber and the a counselor, will also discuss the unique aspects of their work and how they complement and reinforce each other, highlighting the value of a holistic, team-based approach

Powerpoint: HAH MAT session Harm Reduction in the House Sept 2017

Resources: MAT Clinics in Chicago

Contact: UWagner@heartlandalliance.org

Harm Reduction and Tobacco

Presented by Helen Redmond, LCSW

Harm reduction housing provides services to people who have a psychiatric diagnosis and to active drug users. Staff tend to focus on minimizing the harms of illicit drugs (crack, heroin, methamphetamine) and synthetic cannabinoids like K2/Spice. Tobacco use is often not addressed. But smoking cigarettes kills more Americans than AIDS, alcohol, car accidents, murders, suicides, drugs or fires combined. Drug users and people with a psychiatric diagnosis –schizophrenia, depression, bipolar, PTSD–have exceptionally high rates of tobacco use and significant morbidity and mortality as compared to the general public. One in three adults with a mental health problem smoke. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, smoking kills about 200,000 people with a psychiatric diagnosis every year. It’s imperative that harm reduction housing programs address tobacco use. And now, because of electronic cigarettes (vaping) it’s possible to assist tenants to significantly reduce the harms of smoking cigarettes.

This 90-minute, multimedia workshop has three sections:

1. A brief photographic history of cigarette smoking and the role of US tobacco companies.

2. Nicotine use & mental health:
• How nicotine affects the brain
• The connection between psychiatric problems, drug use & nicotine use
• A short documentary (8 mins) that features people who smoke cigarettes, use
drugs & have a psychiatric diagnosis

3. Electronic cigarettes:
• Explain & demonstrate how they work
• Review current research on safety
• Examine the controversies around vaping

• How to talk with smokers about transitioning to vaping
• Organizing vaping groups
• Issues of funding/affordability

Contact: redmondmadrid@yahoo.com

Harm Reduction and the 12 Step Model

Presented by Matthew Silver, CADC, AM, LCSW, Christopher Abert, Chris Robinson, CADC, Whitney Meeks, and Maritxa Vidal

Since its inception, Harm Reduction has been plagued by the myth that it is anti-12-step recovery. This belief persists despite a long history of attempts to illuminate the common ground between them. This session will focus on the lived experience of 12-step Harm Reductionists as they highlight the points of congruence and conflict in their personal journey.