Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $1,600,000)
Hamilton County, Ohio is situated at the southernmost tip of the state, bordering Kentucky and Indiana. The United States Census Bureau estimates that as of July 1, 2021, 826,139 residents lived in the County. Hamilton County includes 49 distinct cities, villages, and townships, the largest of which is Cincinnati. In 2021, Hamilton County suffered 454 overdose deaths and continues to witness 50-70 overdoses per week across the County. As the opioid epidemic worsens, the Hamilton County Justice Center has unintentionally become the largest detox facility in Hamilton County, with 6,000 individuals detoxing annually. Hamilton County needs intentional and strategic interventions to deflect individuals out of the criminal justice system and into evidence-based care and treatment, that is most appropriate to address their needs. It is for that reason that the Hamilton County Addiction Response Coalition (HC ARC) is requesting $1,600,000 through its priority 1(A) consideration application (pg. 17) for the Category 1a: Local Applications for the FY 2022 Comprehensive Opioid, Stimulant, and Substance Abuse Site-based Program.
Hamilton County is proposing a first of its kind pilot, Hamilton County’s Co-Responder Deflection Pilot (HC CORE), that is a collaborative, co-responder intervention to assist individuals with substance use disorder, mental health disorder, co-occurring disorders, or experiencing homelessness, with a specially trained team of law enforcement and peer navigators who create community-based pathways to treatment, recovery support services, housing, case management, or other needs-based services.
HC CORE will involve all six Police Treatment And Community Collaborative (PTACC) deflection pathways as a referral source to a single, co-responder program: (1) self-referral, (2) active outreach, (3) intervention, (4) prevention, (5) post-overdose response, and (6) community-based response. HC CORE will employ its own peer navigation team to ensure that care and case management are provided through a local and neutral lens, also ensuring that the CORE peer navigators will work with the participant from the point of first encounter, onward. The CORE Case Plan will include activities and services that enrich and stabilize the lives of the participants. By embedding peer navigators with law enforcement for deflection efforts, HC CORE will incorporate real-time data collection, drug take-back programs, harm reduction activities, and recovery support services to successfully serve individuals at all stages within the continuum of care model.