Westmoreland Drug Overdose Task Force launches initiative

Westmoreland Drug Overdose Task Force launches initiative

Program seeks to answer “What’s next after naloxone?”

Contact: Tim Phillips, Director, Westmoreland Drug Overdose Task

(724) 830-3827 TPHILLIP@co.westmoreland.pa.us

January 26, 2017, Greensburg—Westmoreland County Drug Overdose Task Force officials today announced the launch of their Post-naloxone Rescue Intervention Team project.

The Team’s mission will be to visit–as soon as possible–individuals rescued from accidental opioid poisoning with naloxone, but not yet engaged in treatment. Information on accessing appropriate treatment will be offered, along with support, to the individual and family members in the home. If necessary, transportation to treatment will be facilitated. The as-yet to be named team members may include emergency medical personnel, volunteers, or professionals from human service provider agencies.

DOTF Director Tim Phillips compared the window of time following an overdose to the crucial minutes just after a heart attack strikes: “The hours directly after an individual overdoses provide a ‘teachable moment.’ If we can reach individuals where they are during this critical time, they may be receptive to help.”

Replicating the lessons-learned from programs such as Colerain, Ohio’s post-naloxone outreach program, and the Santa Fe, New Mexico, Prevention Alliance’s initiative, the Team will design a process geared to the needs of those who live and work in Westmoreland County. Initial plans are to pilot the project in the Greensburg area while simultaneously working with community partners to expand to other areas.

If your organization is interested in partnering with the DOTF in this vital mission, contact Director Phillips at (724) 830-3827 or via email at  TPHILLIP@co.westmoreland.pa.us .

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Learn about how the DOTF can assist your community coalition in addressing the overdose epidemic at www.getinwestmoreland.info