Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $897,863)
Service area and beneficiaries. Wisconsin has seen a large increase in fatal drug overdoses, increasing by 40% 2014-2019. Winnebago County, Wisconsin, had 37 fatal overdoses in 2020, 8 involving methamphetamine and 28 involving fentanyl. Many persons with SUD in the county have justice-system contact; 1454 received SUD services in 2020. Winnebago Co. has no diversion program for defendants with felony drug-possession charges, whom this proposal targets; in 2018–2019, there were 393 unique cases in Winnebago Co. with felony drug-possession the highest charge on the case.
Primary Activities. The stakeholder-centered project, called Stimulant and Opioid Addiction Recovery (SOAR), will develop a diversion strategy for people with SUD and felony drug-possession cases, using evidence-based components, and will improve data infrastructure. The project will engage many stakeholders, including local justice, health, and service agencies, and community-based service providers. Pragmatic field tests of process improvements will document performance and feasibility of implementation. Coordinated services will target eligible populations. Increasing uptake of treatment services (including MAT) and increasing coordination among service systems will reduce SUD, support recovery, and reduce recidivism.
The ultimate goal is to identify and respond to the needs of persons with SUD who are currently excluded from diversion programs. The programmatic goals are (1) bridge the gap in SUD-treatment options by implementing a diversion program specific to felony charges associated with possession of stimulants and opioids; (2) partner with peer-support services (PSS) and recovery coach (RC) agencies to strengthen participants’ probability of successful recovery from an SUD; and (3) create better screening procedures to accurately assess the needs of this population, specifically those with felony drug-possession charges. Subsidiary objectives include screening potential participants at first point of contact; providing participants access to RCs and PSSs while in-custody; rapidly providing treatment resources to participants; developing data tools to improve screening for SUD; and gathering perspectives on program processes from staff, providers, and participants.
Products and deliverables.
o Improved data collection to characterize and respond to SUD.
o A screening tool for treatment and diversion for persons with SUD.
o Improvements in domains important to the justice system, social-service agencies, the community, and SUD-involved persons, such as increased treatment engagement and reduced recidivism.
o Reports on what works (and doesn’t work) to inform implementations in other settings.