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Critical Elements for Implementing Active Outreach Deflection Programs

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Across the United States, first responder agencies—law enforcement, fire, and emergency medical services—collaborate with behavioral health practitioners, case managers, and service providers to implement First Responder Deflection (FRD) programs that redirect individuals with substance use disorders (SUDs) away from the justice system and into community-based treatment and services.

There are six frameworks of FRD, which are referred to as pathways because, in contrast to justice system interventions which mandate individuals attend treatment, first responders and community response teams are able to offer access, or pathways, to community-based treatment, services, and resources to support individuals in need.

The active outreach pathway is a proactive, collaborative, and multi-disciplinary approach being used by law enforcement and other first responder agencies to connect people with SUDs, co-occurring mental health conditions, or who are unsheltered, to community-based treatment and support services. First responders or multidisciplinary co-responder teams usually seek out individuals where they live, in areas where there are high overdose rates, or in encampments of unsheltered individuals.

During this webinar, representatives from active outreach programs in Story County, Iowa, and Morris County, New Jersey, will describe their programs and discuss critical elements needed to plan, implement, and sustain active outreach programs.

Date Created: January 13, 2023