(Photo by Spencer Platt / Getty Images)
(STRONGSVILLE) - In 2014, Strongsville City Councilman Ken Dooner said, first-responders dealt with five opioid overdose calls. In 2015, 20. By 2016, everyone knew there was a major problem brewing when crews responded to 48 such incidents. This year? Dooner said EMS workers have administered 72 doses of Narcan so far. It's a problem, Strongsville's leaders say, that isn't going away on its own and effects well-off suburbs as well as the inner city. The city released details of a new program today:
The Strongsville Police Department's officers will staff the City’s newly created Community Opiate-Outreach Program (CO-OP). This effort will include introduction of the “Safe Passages” program, in which individuals seeking assistance for addiction can simply walk into the police station and ask for help, and also creation of a Quick Response Team, a collaborative effort involving the Police and Fire Departments, Strongsville’s Faith Community and treatment specialists.
The program is modeled after a similar successful program in Berea and Olmsted Township.
The team will provide timely follow-up assistance to overdose survivors and their families, including treatment options and referrals, recovery support, and other necessary services. The City has applied for funding assistance for the new team through Attorney General Mike DeWine’s Opioid Overdose Quick Response Grant Program.The activation of the quick response team will be only one component of a four part strategy to impact opioid abuse.
The new program also includes stepped up enforcement.