Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $1,130,000)
Multidisciplinary Quick Response Team to Address Opioid Epidemic in Cabell County, WV
Opioid crisis remains an ongoing cause of concern in Cabell County, West Virginia. To address the burden of decade old opioid epidemic, the City of Huntington, Cabell County has started a Quick Response Team (QRT) comprised of a Paramedic (Certified in Community Paramedicine/Team Leader), Law Enforcement Officer, Faith Leader, and a Treatment Provider which began in December 2017. The goal was to provide training on naloxone administration and to connect overdosed individuals to a treatment facility within 72 hours of an overdose event. This multidisciplinary team is focused on community engagement and building readiness to change in hopes of engaging individuals and family in formalized outpatient or residential treatment. While the initiative has significantly contributed to reducing the suspected overdose cases in Cabell County from 1831 in 2017 to 999 in 2020, and overdose associated deaths from 134 in 2016 and 111 in 2019, the problem still persists and require addition services offered and existing services continued. The goal of the proposed project is to fund the existing Quick Response Team and implement an expansion QRT team that is charged with following up on the individuals in treatment, conduct rapid HIV and Hepatitis C tests and refer positive individuals to treatment facilities. We anticipate a significant increase in overdoses as the pandemic continues (with an emphasis on recurrent overdoses). This grant will enable us to follow up on individuals in treatment/recovery to the point that they can be connected to PROACT or other services where they can acquire skills required to join the workforce. Cabell County, West Virginia does not want to be known only as the epi-center of problematic substance use disorder, but rather as a proactive community that helps identify and improve solutions. This funding would significantly improve collaboration, engagement, and hope in the community.