Volume III, Issue VI - December 2021 Newsletter

From:  David T. Jones, Director
Division of Substance Use Prevention and Recovery

IDHS/SUPR Trainings

Gambling Effects on the Latinx Community with Victor Ortiz

The LAST webinar of the year is here! Join now to learn more on the effects of gambling in the LatinX Community with our guest speaker, Victor Ortiz, Director of Problem Gambling Services for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

December 8, 2021: 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm CST

To register, visit Gambling Effects on the Latinx Community.

The Illinois Family Resource Center (IFRC) Workshops

Parenting Again: Known as Grandparenting

The family dynamic continues to increase as opioid and other substance use issues create the need for a non-parent family member to assume responsibility of caring for our children - babies through teens. The most recognized in this situation are grandparents who are stepping up to fill the role. This workshop will explore issues and potential solutions for grandparents fulfilling the parenting role. Information for various support services, self-care and wellness will be shared.

December 10, 2021: 11:00 am - 12:00 pm CST

To register, visit Parenting Again: Known as Grandparenting.

Here Come the Holidays: What Do You Do?

Join the IFRC as we enter the winter holiday season and explore the variety of traditions and associated rituals that have special meaning for our families and communities. These events, no matter how small, identify how we link and bond as a "family." However, the plans often include the use of alcoholic beverages and/or other drugs and for many, this is not a healthy or meaningful time.

December 13, 2021: 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm CST

To register, visit Here Come the Holidays: What Do You Do?

UIC-COIP Mobile MAR (Medication Assisted Recovery) Van Outreach Project Update

In May 2021, SUPR awarded funds to the Community Outreach Intervention Project (COIP) to implement the Mobile MAR Program. The goal of this project is to provide low-threshold buprenorphine initiation and primary medical care in tandem with naloxone distribution, syringe exchange and harm reduction services via mobile van-based outreach on the west side and south side of Chicago. This collaborative initiative is being led by Dr. Antonio D. Jimenez, Dr. Sarah E. Messmer, Dr. Jennie Jarrett, and Dr. Stockton Mayer.

COIP has over 30 years of experience working in Chicago communities, especially in neighborhoods hardest hit by opioid overdoses. Originally founded in 1986 to address the HIV/AIDS epidemic among persons who inject drugs (PWID), COIP utilizes the Indigenous Leader Outreach Model to employ people with lived experience with substance use to provide syringe exchange services, naloxone distribution, point-of-care HIV and HCV testing with linkage to care, recovery support, and referral to treatment at multiple locations across Chicago. COIP's Mobile MAR program grew out of a primary care clinic started in 2018 at the agency's West Side Field Station to provide medical care to patients accessing the syringe exchange.

The SUPR-funded Mobile MAR Program expands these services by bringing MAR and comprehensive health care to PWID and individuals who use opioids intranasally and who comprise a significant proportion of those who are at risk for opioid overdose in Chicago.

A significant proportion of those serves include individuals who are currently homeless. The Mobile MAR van accompanies COIP's harm reduction outreach van to provides MAR and medical services along routes in areas of high opioid use on the west side of the city. The MAR team is comprised of two outreach workers, a physician, a social worker, and a clinical pharmacist, and is augmented by medical residents, and pharmacy and nursing students in training. If a patient's medical needs exceed what is possible, the patient can be readily transported to COIP's clinic or to the emergency room if needed.

COIP's mobile medical and MAR services are provided in tandem with harm reduction and recovery support service (RSS) delivery in order to reach community members who use opioids, are at risk for drug overdose, and could benefit from direct connection to medical and behavioral health care. RSS program staff were integrated into the team in mid-July to address common client requests Consequently, nearly all the 137 patients who received medical care and MAR were persons who came to the outreach site seeking harm reduction or other services.

To date, feedback from those in the community at risk for SUD has been overwhelmingly positive and supportive of the project. One west side resident shared why he was particularly thankful for our program. He stated that MAR and other health services were greatly needed in his neighborhood, and that, if not for the van-based linkage to MAR, he really wouldn't have known what he would have done to address his own drug use.

Data results for May 1 - September 1, 2021

Total Number of Unique Patients Cared for From May 1 - September 1, 2021: 137 (with 39 patient follow-up visits)

  • Gender:  Female - 28.5%  |  Male - 71.5%
  • Race/Ethnicity:  Black - 64.2%  |  White - 19.7%  |  Latino/Hispanic - 8%  |  Other/Unspecified - 11%
  • Mean Age:  46.5 Years
  • Behavioral/Medical Services Provided:  COVID-19 vaccination - 53.3%  |  Medically Assisted Recovery - 29.9%  | Other Medical Care - 13.9% |  PWID-Related Wound Care - 8.8%  |  COVID-19 Testing - 4.4%  |  Medication Refill - 3.6%  |  Blood Pressure Monitoring - 2.9%  |  Blood Glucose Monitoring - 2.2%  |  Other reasons for visits include rash/skin lesions, smoking cessation, STI symptoms, musculoskeletal pain

Harm Reduction Services:  May 1 - September 1, 2021

  • Total Number of Encounters:  517
  • Total Unduplicated Number of Clients:  308
  • Number of Clients New to COIP:  210
  • Total Number of Individuals Receiving Naloxone:  464

Recovery Support Services:  May 1 - September 1, 2021

  • Total Number of Encounters:  88
  • Total Unduplicated Number of Clients:  67

COVID-19 Exceptions

A gentle reminder that COVID-19 exceptions are still in effect and have no expiration date currently. Services delivered through Telehealth are still acceptable.

Please review the Provider Notice from the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS) dated March 20, 2020, "Telehealth Services Expansion Prompted by COVID-19"

IDHS/SUPR has also sent several communications regarding the COVID-19 Exception that you can review.

Recovery Residences Registry

The IDHS/SUPR Recovery Residence Registry has been moved to the Illinois Helpline for Opioids and Other Substances to streamline searches, rather than looking in a separate place for recovery residence information. Information in the registry helps IDHS/SUPR better understand recovery residences' capacity and support for Medication Assisted Recovery. If you partner with a residence that is not listed, please invite them to register and/or contact Kimberly.Sriner@illinois.gov to list the organization. Search the Recovery Residences Registry at any time.

Overdose Response Funding Updates

SUPR publishes a monthly report summarizing funded projects in response to the overdose crisis. We invite you to review the Overdose Response Funding Report at your convenience.

Smart Alerts and Other Communications

DHS Coronavirus

SAMHSA COVID-19:  The health, safety, and well-being of all those we serve are amongst our highest priorities. Please visit the State of Illinois Coronavirus page.

Summary of SUPR Resources During the COVID-19 Pandemic (pdf)

Smart Alerts

SUPR COVID-19 Communications