Called the Helping Overdose through Prevention and Education, or HOPE, program, a team consisting of a police officer, paramedic and a social worker has a goal of meeting with a person who overdosed within three to five days to connect them with appropriate assistance.
Substance Abuse Media Clips
U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams, who holds the rank of vice admiral in the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, said he and other health care professionals were once “part of the problem” by overprescribing opioids as painkillers, but now he’s “excited to be part of the solution.”
As many doctors and government agencies now consider these medical treatments part of the standard of care for opioid addiction, some are concerned that recovery houses with rigid rules prohibiting them are pushing more users into homelessness.
Realizing they can’t arrest their way out of the opioid epidemic, the Waynesville Police Department has partnered with other agencies to find new solutions to address these problems. Det. Paige Shell traveled to Seattle two years ago to learn about an innovative program called LEAD (Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion) that has been successfully implemented by law enforcement to address drug crime and recidivism.
This month, Health Commissioner Dr. Shereef Elnahal visited the John Brooks Recovery Center in Pleasantville to draw attention to a program with the Atlantic County jail that is making a difference. It is the first in the state to bring medication-assisted treatment such as methadone to addicted county inmates, and officials hope to expand the program to other counties.
The Rhode Island overdose prevention task force created a four-point plan: better prescription monitoring, more access to the overdose-reversing drug naloxone, more peer-recovery programs and more medication-assisted treatment, in prison and across the state.
A new study, published in the American Journal of Public Health on Thursday by Stanford researchers tries to parse out how America can reduce the death toll. Using a mathematical model, the study brings together research and expert opinions to calculate the epidemic’s death toll and how different policy ideas can stem the toll.
Several programs that provide medication-assisted treatment have demonstrated success, including ones in New York and Rhode Island, which offer the full suite or medications — methadone, buprenorphine and naltrexone.
The county will use a $2 million, two-year grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to phase in treatment for inmates in Clayton’s Buzz Westfall Justice Center.
“What’s most important about this whole pilot program is the data we will collect,” said Middlesex County Sheriff Peter J. Koutoujian, who serves as president of the Massachusetts Sheriffs’ Association. Medication-assisted treatment “has proven to be an effective way to treat substance use disorder.”