Harbour Housing

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Alcohol & Substance Tolerance

Alcohol & Substance Tolerance

Our Elastic Tolerance Model

We are Drug and Alcohol tolerant because we do not believe that addiction should be a barrier to housing.

Whilst not all of our residents suffer from substance addiction, we are committed to not discriminating against people who are in entrenched addiction and substance abuse, providing a roof over people’s heads regardless of their current state unless it would be detrimental for them to be in a tolerant environment.

We see addiction as more than a physical affliction or a choice and appreciate the mental, physical and spiritual aspects of it, often with its roots in people’s early years experiences.

For this reason we will not evict someone because of their drug use unless there is anti-social behaviour that accompanies it but we work closely with the police, the Cornwall Drug and Alcohol Team (DAAT) and the local community to house people safely and ensure our unique tolerance policy is appropriate and timely.

We operate a harm-reduction attitude and require residents with substance issues to engage in counselling or with a specific drug worker, and to see the nurse for health-checks, working in partnership with other agencies delivering these services.

We also pioneered Naloxone, a medical intervention that can reverse the effects of an overdose, being available in our accommodation so as to reduce the number of drug deaths and so far have prevented 60 heroin overdoses from being fatal in ten years.

We have influenced national statistics and helped to impact research, hopefully making it more likely for other Supported Accommodation facilities to follow suit.

It is important that all residents know that they will not be penalised for their role in substance use when there is an incident, as we need them to know that they can come to us for help and be honest about what has happened so that the necessary steps can be taken to ensure everyone’s safety.

We realise that it can be difficult for some people to understand how a substance tolerant environment is possible but the fact is that many people consume alcohol in the privacy of their own home and it is not a problem.

With all the harm reduction in place, as long as people do not become anti-social as a result, we feel it is better for someone to have a roof over their head whilst they address their issues than to be using substances on the streets or in unsafe places.