Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $1,196,998)
Douglas County Community Services Board (DCCSB) provides substance use disorder (SUD) support to over 148,981 Douglas County residents in Georgia. Douglas County continues to see increasing rates of substance abuse (SA) year after year, especially in the abuse of opioids, heroin, and alcohol. Research shows a prevalence of SA among incarcerated populations, and state-wide, Georgia has a staggering incarceration rate of 970 per 100,000 people.
Combating increased rates of addiction and overdose deaths, DCCSB seeks $1,196,998 in funding for the three-year Douglas County COSSAP Postbooking Pilot (Pilot). The Recovery Community Organization (RCO) and DCCSB will implement a system within Douglas County Sheriff’s - Jail Division (DCJ) to identify and refer individuals needing SA treatment.
The Pilot hopes to reduce the number of overdoses occurring post-treatment by identifying and quickly providing those suffering from SUD the appropriate level of treatment post-booking. DCJ will refer approximately ten individuals per month. By the end of the Pilot, at least 60% of clients referred from DCJ will have completed treatment. DCCSB will provide SA treatment, including MAT and other forms of intensive treatment; referring out individuals who need more intensive treatment. Upon completing treatment, individuals will receive a Certificate of Completion for the judge to consider for charges and sentencing.
Additionally, DCCSB aims to increase access to care by helping individuals overcome financial hurdles to receiving treatment. Individuals will receive an average of $2,000 of treatment services in lieu of court-mandated services. The Pilot also seeks to separate SA treatment from the judicial system to increase the number of individuals seeking treatment and improve engagement.
The final goal is to connect individuals suffering from SA to a peer recovery community to decrease the likelihood of SA and increase the likelihood of discontinuing criminogenic behavior. By the end of year three, 360 individuals in Douglas County will have the option of connecting with RCO for peer support before trial. Peer support will be provided in partnership with Never Alone Clubhouse, which offers peer-based support in a post-booking setting before a trial date. Attendance records from the client shared by the RCO will be made available.
If the Douglas County COSSAP Postbooking Pilot (Pilot) is successful, the pilot can scale, be potentially replicated in other areas of similar size and scope, and contribute to existing evidence-based best practices.