HAMILTON COUNTY, OHIO – Before COVID-19 commanded the lion’s share of headlines, Hamilton County Public Health (HCPH) was in the midst of another battle — fighting the disease of addiction.
“We certainly haven’t lost sight of those struggling with addiction,” says Greg Kesterman, interim health commissioner at Hamilton County Public Health. “But we have made some modifications to our program to ensure the health and safety of our clients and our harm reduction team.”
Syringe services are now available only through appointment. Clients will receive a one-month supply of all items offered through the service. Clients can schedule appoints by phone, text, e-mail or through Facebook. Call or text 513-316-7725; log onto Facebook: @hc.xchange; or e-mail ExchangeProject@hamilton-co.org.
In addition to syringe and other exchange service items, the HCPH team implemented a text service for its clients with alerts and messages covering a number of health and safety issues. The team is also reaching out through clients’ preferred communication mediums to check in during the stay-at-home order. These calls will help clients find healthcare, housing, food or other needed resources.
The HCPH Harm Reduction team is also continuing its distribution of Narcan®, the overdose-reversing drug. Clients can schedule an appointment to receive Narcan via a drive-through service. To schedule an appointment, call or text 513-946-7676; log on to Facebook: facebook.com/hc.narcan; or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
The HCPH team is also working closely with the Hamilton County Justice Center to ensure inmates released from incarceration have the appropriate resources. Each inmate will receive resource information in their property bags upon release. Finally, addiction treatment providers are operating during the COVID-19 pandemic. The HCPH team is available to help clients navigate the referral process to enter treatment.
“These are difficult times for all of us, but certainly for those with additional medical challenges,” Kesterman adds. “Even though we are all working to comply with stay-at-home requirements, our clients’ needs don’t go away. That’s what we’re here for.”
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Hamilton County Public Health works to assure the 480,000 citizens living outside the cities of Cincinnati, Norwood and Springdale are safe from disease, injury and contamination.
Contact: Mike Samet, Public Information Officer
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 9, 2020
Posted by: Christy Cauley