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Supporting First Responders Through Behavioral Health Interventions, Medication Assisted Treatment, and Connections to Care in the Emergency Department

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Competitive Discretionary
Awardee County
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $900,002)

In North Dakota, approximately half of the 70 reported drug overdose deaths involved opioids in 2018—a total of 36 fatalities (and a rate of 5.2). Nationally, from 2013 to 2019, the age-adjusted rate of deaths involving synthetic opioids other than methadone increased from 1,040%, and for psychostimulants increased 317%. To help curb this epidemic of abuse and overdoses, the CDC is calling for strategies which focus on enhancing linkage to and retention in substance use disorder treatment, implementing post-overdose protocols in emergency departments, including naloxone provision to patients who use opioids or other illicit drugs, and strengthening public health and public safety partnerships.  The Bismarck Police Department, in collaboration with community stake holders, proposes building a bridge to intervene with overdose victims to transition them to Medication Assisted Treatment and substance use disorder treatment to break the cycle of addiction and overdose.     Bismarck Police Department (BPD) will partner with Heartview Foundation, a licensed addiction treatment provider, Sanford Health Emergency Department (ED) and other community Stakeholders to address the local opioid overdose crisis by:    Increasing utilization of Medication Assisted Treatment for individuals with Opioid Use Disorder (OUD) through expansion of the Heartview Opioid Treatment Program to increase access to treatment;   Increasing access at Sanford Emergency Department to Medication Assisted Treatment for individuals who have overdosed through an Opioid Overdose Bridge with medication (MAT) prescribed by ED physicians and supported by peer support.  Utilize peer supports and other evidence-based recovery support services in the Sanford Emergency Department to develop a bridge between emergency room, law enforcement/first responders and individuals needing treatment.  Increasing the availability of Naloxone (Narcan) as an evidence-based opioid prevention practice. First responders, and other Burleigh and Morton stakeholders, will be trained in the use of and supplied with Naloxone (Narcan) as part of a comprehensive prevention program based on the SPR-based prevention infrastructure.  Increasing communication efforts to reduce stigma-surrounding Substance Use Disorder (SUD), OUD, and MAT . The Opioid Bridge will also work with a steering committee of clinical professionals, law enforcement, and survivors to ensure consumer input is woven into the design and implementation of the program.

Date Created: December 17, 2021