Browsing by Author "Brown, Meaghan"
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- ItemManaged alcohol programs in the context of Housing First(2019) Schiff, Rebecca; Pauly, Bernie; Hall, Shana; Vallance, Kate; Ivsins, Andrew; Brown, Meaghan; Gray, Erin; Krysowaty, Bonnie; Evans, JoshuaPurpose Recently, Managed Alcohol Programs (MAPs have emerged as an alcohol harm reduction model for those living with severe alcohol use disorder (AUD) and experiencing homelessness. There is still a lack of clarity about the role of these programs in relation to Housing First (HF) discourse. The authors examine the role of MAPs within a policy environment that has become dominated by a focus on HF approaches to addressing homelessness. This examination includes a focus on Canadian policy contexts where MAPs originated and are still predominately located. The purpose of this paper is to trace the development of MAPs as a novel response to homelessness among people experiencing severe AUD and to describe the place of MAPs within a HF context. Design/methodology/approach This conceptual paper outlines the development of discourses related to persons experiencing severe AUD and homelessness, with a focus on HF and MAPs as responses to these challenges. The authors compare the key characteristics of MAPs with “core principles” and values as outlined in various definitions of HF. Findings MAPs incorporate many of the core values or principles of HF as outlined in some definitions, although not all. MAPs (and other housing/treatment models) provide critical housing and support services for populations who might not fit well with or who might not prefer HF models. Originality/value The “silver bullet” discourse surrounding HF (and harm reduction) can obscure the importance of programs (such as MAPs) that do not fully align with all HF principles and program models. This is despite the fact that MAPs (and other models) provide critical housing and support services for populations who might fall between the cracks of HF models. There is the potential for MAPs to help fill a gap in the application of harm reduction in HF programs. The authors also suggest a need to move beyond HF discourse, to embrace complexity and move toward examining what mixture of different housing and harm reduction supports are needed to provide a complete or comprehensive array of services and supports for people who use substances and are experiencing homelessness.
- ItemOn the outside looking in: finding a place for managed alcohol programs in the harm reduction movement(2019) Ivsins, Andrew; Pauly, Bernie; Brown, Meaghan; Evans, Joshua; Gray, Erin; Schiff, Rebecca; Krysowaty, Bonnie; Vallance, Kate; Stockwell, TimAlcohol policy in North America is dominated by moderation and abstinence-based modalities that focus on controlling population-level alcohol consumption and modifying individual consumption patterns to prevent and reduce alcohol-related harms. However, conventional alcohol policies and interventions do not adequately address harms associated with high-risk drinking among individuals experiencing severe alcohol use disorder (AUD) and structural vulnerability such as poverty and homelessness. In this commentary we address this gap in alcohol harm reduction, and highlight the lack of, and distinct need for, alcohol-specific harm reduction for people experiencing structural vulnerability and severe AUD. These individuals, doubly impacted by structural oppression and severe AUD, engage in various high-risk drinking practices that contribute to a unique set of harms that conventional abstinence-based treatments and interventions fail to adequately attend to. Managed alcohol programs (MAPs) have been established to address these multiple intersecting harms, and though gaining momentum across Canada, have had a hard time finding their place within the harm reduction movement. We illustrate how MAPs play a crucial role in the harm reduction movement in their ability to not only address high-risk drinking practices among structurally marginalized individuals, but to respond to harms associated with broader structural inequities such as poverty and homelessness.
- Item“There is a place”: impacts of managed alcohol programs for people experiencing severe alcohol dependence and homelessness(2019) Pauly, Bernie; Brown, Meaghan; Evans, Joshua; Gray, Erin; Schiff, Rebecca; Ivsins, Andrew; Krysowaty, Bonnie; Vallance, Kate; Stockwell, TimBackground The twin problems of severe alcohol dependence and homelessness are associated with precarious living and multiple acute, social and chronic harms. While much attention has been focused on harm reduction services for illicit drug use, there has been less attention to harm reduction for this group. Managed alcohol programs (MAPs) are harm reduction interventions that aim to reduce the harms of severe alcohol use, poverty and homelessness. MAPs typically provide accommodation, health and social supports alongside regularly administered sources of beverage alcohol to stabilize drinking patterns and replace use of non-beverage alcohol (NBA). Methods We examined impacts of MAPs in reducing harms and risks associated with substance use and homelessness. Using case study methodology, data were collected from five MAPs in five Canadian cities with each program constituting a case. In total, 53 program participants, 4 past participants and 50 program staff were interviewed. We used situational analysis to produce a series of “messy”, “ordered” and “social arenas” maps that provide insight into the social worlds of participants and the impact of MAPs. Results Prior to entering a MAP, participants were often in a revolving world of cycling through multiple arenas (health, justice, housing and shelters) where abstinence from alcohol is often required in order to receive assistance. Residents described living in a street-based survival world characterized by criminalization, unmet health needs, stigma and unsafe spaces for drinking and a world punctuated by multiple losses and disconnections. MAPs disrupt these patterns by providing a harm reduction world in which obtaining accommodation and supports are not contingent on sobriety. MAPs represent a new arena that focuses on reducing harms through provision of safer spaces and supply of alcohol, with opportunities for reconnection with family and friends and for Indigenous participants, Indigenous traditions and cultures. Thus, MAPs are safer spaces but also potentially spaces for healing. Conclusions In a landscape of limited alcohol harm reduction options, MAPs create a new arena for people experiencing severe alcohol dependence and homelessness. While MAPs reduce precarity for participants, programs themselves remain precarious due to ongoing challenges related to lack of understanding of alcohol harm reduction and insecure program funding.