The SPOT: Boston’s New Harm Reduction Program for Opioid Users Forges New Ground

The SPOT: Boston’s New Harm Reduction Program for Opioid Users Forges New Ground

Presented by the National HCH Council Thursday, July 28, 2016 | 2:30-3:30 p.m. EDT

In response to the local overdose crisis in Boston, the Boston Health Care for The Homeless Program (BHCHP) recently opened the Supportive Place for Observation and Treatment (SPOT), which provides people with opioid use disorder a safe space where they are monitored during periods of sedation after taking substances. Participants are also offered connection to medical and addiction services. This innovative “harm reduction” approach reduces the risk of overdose and is one additional strategy to help address the growing opioid crisis among vulnerable populations.

This webinar will describe how the program evolved from concept to implementation, the clinical impact observed to date, and the changing attitudes toward harm reduction as a result. As communities nationwide struggle to manage opioid addiction, the experiences of this emerging program can serve as an example for others to consider adapting to their local needs.


  • Boston Healthcare for The Homeless Program (BHCHP)
    • Jessie Gaeta, MD, Chief Medical Officer
    • Joanne Guarino, Chair, Consumer Advisory Board and Member, Board of Directors
    • Barry Bock, Chief Executive Officer
  • Boston Public Health Commission
    • Sarah Mackin, Director, AHOPE Needle Exchange and Harm Reduction Services


  • Barbara DiPietro, PhD, Senior Director of Policy, National Health Care for the Homeless Council, Baltimore, MD

Archived Webinar Video

Webinar: View on YouTube.

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