On-the-ground study improves health of homeless participants

A new study conducted by The Bridge Engagement Centre (The Bridge) found that curbing daily cigarette use can reduce dependence on opioids. In a previous study focused on the homeless community in Ottawa, they discovered that 96% of participants smoked as compared to just 9% of the city’s population. The Bridge undertook this second study to determine if tobacco use affected the prevalence of drug addiction among the homeless. Over the course of 6 months, they followed 80 vulnerable Ottawa residents “while providing peer support, regular counseling with a mental health nurse, free Nicotine Replacement Therapy, and peer-led life-skills workshops”. What made this study so successful was that recruitment and administration was a joint effort. It placed participants in the driver’s seat, helping them build their confidence and their futures. Check out this Ottawa Citizen article to learn more. As community researchers, we encourage on-the-ground community initiatives that lead to such enhanced and cost-effective health outcomes.

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