U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

The Northampton DHHS Drug Addiction Recovery Team (DART) Enhanced Model

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Competitive Discretionary
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $1,281,206)

The Northampton Department of Health and Human Services’ (NDHHS)
Drug Addiction Recovery Team (DART) Enhanced Model will provide deflection interventions
at sequential intercepts zero and one to 20 communities in Hampshire and Hampden counties in
Western Massachusetts and will provide regional data collection and synthesis for the region,
including an additional 10 communities in Berkshire County. NDHHS played a leadership role
throughout the opioid crisis in Western Massachusetts and is committed to continuing to
strengthen that work. The proposed project will build upon NDHHS’s current multi-sector,
cross-county foundation of police departments, recovery centers, behavioral health and treatment
providers, and hospitals. The specific aim of the enhanced model is to improve engagement with
communities that have been historically underserved, marginalized and adversely affected by
inequality. The DART model consists of teams of first responders, recovery coaches, and harm
reductionists who offer free support to people who use drugs, and their families, after an opioid
overdose or other high risk substance use. NDHHS will collaborate with local recovery centers
to hire two culturally attuned recovery coaches, with the goal of more effectively reaching nonwhite
and homeless individuals with SUD, as well as persons with co-occurring SUD and mental
health disorders. Moreover, NDHHS will shift its model to ensure that more post-overdose
responses are conducted by a non-police DART member whenever possible to increase
engagement with persons from historically marginalized groups. Secondly, NDHHS plans to
conduct outreach activities in communities in the catchment area that are most impacted by
environmental harms and risks (known as environmental justice communities), as people living
in these overburdened communities may be more at risk for drug use and overdose. The goal of
these activities is to reduce SUD stigma and increase deflection of individuals with SUD and cooccurringdisorders prior to police intervention. Thirdly, DART will continue to support
partnering police departments in obtaining an ongoing supply of Naloxone and will expand
distribution to individuals likely to reverse an overdose in the community. Lastly, DART will
continue its focus on real-time data collection and analysis and utilize the UMass Center for
Program Evaluation to support evaluation of program efficacy and quality assurance. DART
aims to divert individuals with SUD and co-occurring disorders from involvement with the
criminal justice system and reduce the high rates of opioid overdose deaths in the region,
specifically among historically marginalized groups.

Date Created: September 25, 2023