Having access to secure and safe housing can have substantially positive effects on the health and wellbeing of people with HIV and people who use drugs. Harm reduction housing programs have seen success when they prioritize the dignity, respect, and unique needs of each person seeking services. By taking this human-centered approach to harm reduction housing, people are more likely to stay engaged in care. In this episode, the BMC team continues their conversation about harm reduction housing by talking with Dr. Miriam Komaromy, Medical Director for the Grayken Center for Addiction at Boston Medical Center. During the conversation, Dr. Komaromy shares her experience helping start and sustain the Roundhouse program in Boston, and describes how this model of care can be life changing for the communities who need it.
“Harm reduction is a really broad concept and one of the things that we do is monitor people who are in an overdose situation or over intoxicated and would have to go to the emergency department or be administered narcan or naloxone if they couldn’t be monitored. And so we have space for them to rest, to be monitored, to be on a pulse oximeter so that we can detect if they’re getting into trouble. But just allow them to rest and recover naturally...and when we treat people gently and with dignity in a situation like that, we’re building trust with them and that allows us to do a lot of other harm reduction interventions." --Dr. Miriam Komaromy