This article from the TECHBeat March 2018 issue features a Maryland county’s comprehensive opioid addiction treatment program in which fire and police stations cooperate in an opioid treatment network, and the article also provides online access to two other county opioid countermeasures, one a community awareness program and the other a school-based education effort.
Under Anne Arundel County‘s, “Safe Stations” program, county residents are advised that anyone who wants help with opioid addiction can go to a fire station or police station to receive a preliminary medical evaluation from emergency medical staff, who then call in one of the county’s Crisis Intervention Teams (CITs). The CIT works with the person to find appropriate treatment and a safe place to stay until appropriate treatment is available. The CIT provides transportation to treatment locations and keeps in touch with the treatment provider regarding treatment status. After treatment, the CIT maintains contact with the person through a care coordinator, who provides support and assistance in finding housing and a job. If criminal justice procedures are involved, an officer coordinates rearranging court dates if required and counsels individuals about the judicial process. In the program’s first 10 months of operation, 512 persons participated in the program, with a successful treatment rate of 58 percent.