Dane County Drug Poisoning Prevention
Stop Dane County’s Drug Poisoning Epidemic
The trend is alarming: poisoning is now Dane County’s number one cause of injury death – surpassing motor vehicle crashes – and drug poisoning is the cause in 85% of cases. Deaths caused by misuse and abuse of prescription opioids have almost doubled in the last decade. Injuries and deaths occur when drugs are abused, used inappropriately, stored improperly or sold illegally. The effects are tragic and far-reaching.
Our focus is to reduce access and use/misuse; emphasize prevention and early intervention; and enhance and expand treatment options. We coordinate and share resources among health care and law enforcement professionals; struggling families, individuals and concerned citizens; and our many important partner organizations.
This project began as a pilot program in 2016 through a partnership with SSM/Dean St. Mary’s hospital. When a person presented in the emergency room as experiencing an overdose, a recovery coach is called. The individual is then offered the opportunity to connect with the recovery coach on-site. All of our recovery coaches have the shared experience of waking up in the emergency room after an overdose. The coach will typically sit with the person and provide support. After the person is discharged from the hospital, the recovery coach has daily contact with them until a confirmed treatment intake date is established. After the individual is connected with treatment, the coach remains in contact with the person for a few months until the person has a solid foundation of recovery. During the pilot phase of the project, Safe Communities was able to obtain a 90% success rate in connecting individuals to treatment and their beginning to a life in recovery.
Safe Communities has now partnered with Wisconsin Voices for Recovery, Safe Communities is now able to work with any individual who comes to the Emergency Department and identifies they have opioid use disorder. Safe Communities program has now expanded to 3 more emergency departments in Dane County.
Launched in August 2017, this program connects women who are pregnant and have opioid use disorder with a recovery coach. The expecting mothers may be utilizing medication-assisted treatment (MAT), taking illicit opioids or are being prescribed opioids to qualify for this program. Our recovery coaches work with expectant mothers on the coordination of care-connecting them with MAT, if needed, getting them into treatment, supporting them in access to resources and advocating for care and respect. Our coaches for this program have the shared experience of having had a child while in the grips of addiction. They know the struggles of the stigma, shame, guilt, and embarrassment. They have healed and are in long-term recovery, wanting to help other women find that hope and path to recovery. Our program currently allows the coaches to work with women until three months post-partum. It is our goal, by three months post-partum, the mothers have established a foundation for recovery and support within our community.
Pregnancy2recovery offers a support group on Mondays at SSM-St. Mary’s hospital from 6-7: 30 pm. The support group is for women who have had a child while taking opioids, women who are currently pregnant and struggling with opioid use disorder, or women who are taking opioids or MAT and are planning a pregnancy. Our recovery coaches lead the support group.
Begining May 2018, Safe Communities has partnered with Journey Mental Health to connect people coming out of incarceration with recovery coaches prior to their release. Currently, this is a county-funded pilot program. The program is designed for individuals who are incarcerated and have indicated they would like to be a part of the Journey Mental Health Vivitrol program. The coaches work closely with the individual prior to release and offer support as they connect with services at Journey Mental Health. Our coaches will also work with the incarcerated person to find housing, employment, and recovery support if needed, with the goal of reduced recidivism.
People expect the 911 system to work quickly and reliably, everywhere and with any device. The National 911 Program’s role is to help the 911 community provide optimal 911 services across the nation.
American Association of Poison Control Centers: (800) 222-1222
The American Association of Poison Control Centers supports the nation’s 55 poison centers in their efforts to prevent and treat poison exposures. Poison centers offer free, confidential medical advice 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Dane County Suicide Crisis Line: (608) 280-2600
National Suicide Prevention Line:
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