(Pictured in the key image: Host Rusty Waters, Palm Springs Fire Captain/Public Information Officer Nathan Gunkel, DAP Health ODF Substance Use Specialist Hans Kowoll, and DAP Health Community Health Harm Reduction Supervisor Neil Gussardo, appearing at a RAW Talk event at Hunter’s Nightclub in Palm Springs California to discuss and answer questions about “all things harm reduction.” Photo by Nicholas Snow.)

You read the headline correctly:

“…overdose deaths in Palm Springs are 200% higher than California average.”

In this episode of Hot in Palm Springs on PromoHomo.TV®, Producer/Host Nicholas Snow welcomes DAP Health’s Director of Community Health and Sexual Wellness CJ Tobe to discuss the very progressive and important work DAP is doing not only with Harm Reduction, but with recovery services such as their Outpatient Drug Free Program, as well as sexual health and wellness services.

Here are some Harm Reduction FAQs from DAPHealth.org:

What is harm reduction?

According to the National Harm Reduction Coalition, it’s “a set of practical strategies and ideas aimed at reducing negative consequences associated with drug use. Harm reduction is also a movement for social justice built on a belief in, and respect for, the rights of people who use drugs.”

Doesn’t DAP Health’s harm reduction program enable people?

Yes! Entirely consistent with the nonprofit’s history and mission to end HIV and to provide comprehensive health care to all, the program enables people to be safer, and to live their healthiest and happiest life through education and connection to care.

At various locations throughout the Coachella Valley, DAP Health’s harm reduction team provides:

–Free HIV and hep C testing.
–New syringes to reduce HIV and hep C transmission.
–Other safer use paraphernalia such as safer smoking kits and new cottons, cookers, tourniquets, and other injecting supplies.
–Safer sex kits (condoms, lube).
–Fentanyl strips for testing drugs before use to decrease the likelihood of overdose.
–Naloxone and Narcan to help reverse the potentially fatal effects of opioid overdose.

Referrals available to persons who use drugs include:

–Peer support specialists.
–Early intervention specialists (for those with HIV and/or hep C who need treatment).
–Local recovery and treatment centers, and substance use counselors.
–Insurance enrollment and connection to health care/other social support services.
–DAP Health’s sexual wellness clinic (Palm Springs and Indio) for STI testing and/or PrEP.
–Food and housing.

DAP Health success statistics since the program’s inception (May 2022 to May 2023):

–2,837 patients served
–61,440 syringes taken in/given out via organized community pickup
–1,488 referrals to recovery centers, primary care, and mental health
–295 lives saved

For more information, visit www.DAPHealth.org 

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