Quick response teams in Hamilton County aim to combat opioid addiction problems

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HAMILTON COUNTY, Ind. — Cracking down on opioid abuse and getting addicts the treatment they need is the goal of a new program being set up in Hamilton County.

The program is being paid for with a half million dollars in state and federal money. The grant money will help create what are called “Opioid Quick Response Teams.”

First responders in Hamilton County administered Narcan 300 times to save the lives of opioid addicts in 2017. Trying to cut down on those overdose numbers is the reason quick response teams are being formed.

“I know the community is aware we have a problem. I think this is a very innovative way to get people help,” said Monica Greer with Hamilton County Council on Alcohol and Other Drugs.

Greer says the three-person teams which will launch first in Carmel and Westfield will include a law enforcement officer, a firefighter and a peer recovery coach.

“It may be intimidating for law enforcement to show up and say we want to help. Trust is a big factor. Someone in recovery that can relate to them is where the peer recovery coach comes in,” said Greer.

The idea is to help addicts recover and get long term treatment as quickly as possible following an overdose.

“If someone overdoses and is revived by Narcan, our team within 48-72 hours will go visit that person,” said Greer. “The goal is to get them into treatment see what needs they have.”

The hope is the quick response teams in Carmel and Westfield will be up and running by the end of the month.

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