Since 2017, High Hopes’ grassroot model of care has evolved in 2022 to accommodate patient and community needs, including the creation of a highly specialized team with deep knowledge in clinical and social care roles: health practitioners who work in medical withdrawal management setting, licensed pharmacists with published research on medical cannabis and peers with lived-experience to provide social supports.
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Decreased risk of overdose
Patients reported a marked decrease in overdose risk. Patient-reported rates of overdose also significantly declined.
Reductions in use of fentanyl
Patients in the High Hopes program successfully reduced their reliance on unregulated fentanyl, often with significant reductions. Some patients even managed to completely cease fentanyl use.
Decreased withdrawal symptoms
Medical cannabis usage led to reduced or eliminated withdrawal symptoms, as reported by patients. Moreover, patients expressed the efficacy of medical cannabis in managing painful medical conditions instead of relying on unregulated fentanyl.
Improved access to care
High Hopes program provided patients with access to low-barrier specialized healthcare and directed patients to primary care, especially crucial for individuals who faced discrimination and stigma due to their drug use, leading to estrangement from the healthcare system.
Reduction in criminalized activities
Patients reported a striking decrease or complete stop to their involvement in street-based or criminalized activities.
Improved quality of life
Patients were highly satisfied with the integrated primary healthcare and social care offered. Moreover, patients experienced improved access to social supports from peer navigators. The program also led to positive impacts on patients’ quality of life, including improvements in relationships, work, and mental health.
Enhanced by technology, our evidence-based care system is informed by peer-reviewed research in collaboration and participation with our partner public health and academic institutions.
SELECTED PUBLISHED STUDIES HIGH HOPES PARTICIPATED IN
Frequency of cannabis and illicit opioid use among people who use drugs and report chronic pain: A longitudinal analysis
Researchers from the BCCSU and University of British Columbia (UBC) interviewed more than 1,100 people at highest risk of opioid overdose in Vancouver between 2014 and 2017 who reported substance use and major or chronic pain. They found that daily cannabis use was associated with significantly lower odds of daily illicit opioid use, suggesting people are replacing opioids with cannabis to manage their pain.
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High-intensity cannabis use is associated with retention in opioid agonist treatment: a longitudinal analysis.
Recent scientific findings have raised the possibility that cannabis might have a beneficial role to play in the overdose crisis, with preliminary evidence linking cannabis to reductions in the risk of experiencing drug-related harms, notably through research conducted by UBC Professor M-J Milloy which showed that among 2,500 hard drug users in the Downtown Eastside, cannabis helped 20 per cent to stay with treatment after a six-month period
Cannabis use as a tool in the harm reduction of opioid use: A Canadian perspective
A small cross-sectional study of rates of substitution of cannabis for other drugs at High Hopes by Canadian Mental Health Association produced very interesting results. 82% of visitors over the course of the two days said they were visiting High Hopes to taper off of opioids, and opioids were the class of drugs for which they were more likely to reduce consumption: 70% of the population using opioids who visit HH said that they were able to reduce the amount they consumed, followed by 64% and 63% of the population using methamphetamines and cocaine.
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Who do we serve?
- Rehabilitation centres
- Health plans members
- Long-term facilities
- Assisted care homes
- Overdose prevention sites
- Harm reduction organization
- Home-health services
- Detox centres
- Peer support services
- Non-profit organizations
- Support groups
- Public health entities
- Social workers
- Social housing providers