Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $1,299,996)
Opioid substance use has increased both from prescriptions and illegally manufactured fentanyl. The Orleans Parish Coroner office stated that overdose deaths rose by 35% in 2021 and fentanyl was present in 94% of those autopsies. People with substance use disorders (SUDs), including opioid use disorders (OUDs), have been hit especially hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. An independent assessment by the Pew Charitable Trust found that low access to treatment is largely driven by the limited number of providers across Louisiana. These considerations will inform New Orleans Emergency Medical Services’ (NOEMS) approach to this program. NOEMS proposes this plan for overdose response and intervention as a Category 1B applicant. NOEMS is responsive to the unique considerations of marginalized groups and this project will include several culturally sensitive measures. The project will span across New Orleans, which is coextensive with Orleans Parish, in collaboration with local non-profit behavioral healthcare facility Odyssey House Louisiana (OHL). NOEMS will provide overdose response, access to wraparound services, harm reduction activities, education, and prevention services to individuals who experience an overdose, including those who do not consent to transport to an emergency department (ED). NOEMS and OHL will implement this program utilizing three trained Outreach Coordinators on a Rapid Response Team who will link the citizens to treatment, services, education, overdose prevention strategies, and direct services on scene and provide transportation as needed to treatment. NOEMS and OHL propose the following allowable uses and activities under COSSAP funding:
Deflection and pre-arrest diversion: NOEMS and OHL will collaborate to ensure that as many needs as possible are met at the scene of an overdose. Anyone who is revived from an overdose and does not wish to be transported to an ED will be diverted to a treatment program if they request a referral.
Real-time data collection: The NOEMS Program Coordinator will collect real-time data from electronic patient care reports on overdose patients.
Naloxone: With COSSAP funding, the program will purchase 350 Naloxone kits per year for distribution to every person included in this program.
The program utilizes 67% of the budget for program staff which includes 4 team members dedicated to this program. The remainder of the budget is used for program related travel, outside evaluation services, supplies and equipment. This program expects to assist 350 individuals affected by Opioid overdoses each year (1,050 total).