Programs whose objectives are to protect people from the potentially deadly effects of the drugs they use, reduce HIV risk, increase access to treatment services and reduce public drug use and improper disposal of hypodermic needles and syringes.
Programs that provide access to fast, professional treatment for people with opioid and alcohol use disorders. RAAM clinics are low-barrier, walk-in facilities that patients can visit to get help for a substance use disorder, in most cases without an appointment or formal referral. Their operating hours range from daily to once a week. In addition to addiction physicians, the clinics provide access to nurses and counsellors, who are able to provide medication-assisted treatment and short-term therapy until the patient is stable and ready to be transferred back to their primary care physicians, who are provided with materials to be prepared to take over the patient's treatment plan. Medications used by the clinics in treatment include buprenorphine or methadone for opioid use disorders, and naltrexone or acamprosate for alcohol use disorders.
Programs that provide structured therapy groups or other interventions which help recovering drug and/or excessive alcohol users make the cognitive, behavioural and attitudinal changes that are necessary to prevent them from returning to their previous patterns of use. The program helps participants deal in a very focused way with a wide variety of issues that have an impact on their commitment to sobriety and may include topics like exercise, nutrition, boredom, addictive behaviour, looking forward, work and recovery, guilt and shame, the role of 12-step programs, staying busy, truthfulness, trust, repairing relationships, anger management, money management and dealing with feelings.
Programs that provide permanent accommodations for people who have a chronic problem with excessive use of alcohol and/or use of other drugs and no expectation of recovery. In most cases, there are no requirements for abstinence as a condition for housing. Included are "damp" housing for people who are able to live in a setting where abstinence is encouraged but substance use is permitted on the premises in moderation; and "wet" housing for people who are unwilling and/or unable to make a commitment to consumption limitations and are actively using drugs and/or alcohol addictively. In most cases, alcohol consumption is permitted at the residence, either in a person's room or in common areas, while drug use is not tolerated on-site but residents can use drugs away from the building. Both are contrasted to "dry" housing where residences are alcohol and drug-free. In most cases, residents in these facilities are formerly homeless and have undergone numerous failed attempts at treatment for alcohol and/or drug use. Without this harm reduction alternative, homeless people with chronic substance use issues sleep on the street and are at increased risk of exposure to adulterated or harmful substances, or depend on costly detoxification and scarce emergency shelter beds for housing.
Programs that provide alternative, nonresidential environments that are drug and alcohol free for individuals who have or are recovering from a problem with excessive use of alcohol and/or use of other drugs. Services may include recreational activities, socialization, information and referral, individual and/or group counselling sessions, 12-step meetings, snacks, day beds, showers and/or clean clothing. And while some programs may be open to active users, others are tailored specifically for people who have completed a substance use related treatment program and need ongoing support to sustain an abstinent lifestyle. Drop-in settings may feature a non-clinical, clubhouse environment adapted from the psychiatric rehabilitation clubhouse model or take a more traditional approach; and may be structured for different age groups or other populations.
Programs that link people who are in need of drug and/or alcohol use disorder services with appropriate resources.
The above terms and definitions are part of the Taxonomy of Human Services, used here by permission of INFO LINE of Los Angeles.