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New Program Supports Opioid Overdose Survivors
Blue Guardian was launched earlier this year to support the people who have survived a drug overdose in Lehigh County.
Crafted earlier this year by the Lehigh County Drug and Alcohol Administrator and Jim Martin, the Lehigh County District Attorney, the program — Blue Guardian — helps people who have survived a drug overdose.
More similar initiatives to the program are needed in the area, the officials stated. They added that Lehigh County has been seeing an increasing number of overdose deaths associated with substance abuse in recent years.
The program uses a data collection system and tracks drug-related trends.
After any first responder has been able to successfully reverse an opioid overdose the naloxone, police officers will reach out to a certified recovery specialist and visit the residency of an overdose survivor between 48 and 72 hours after the incident.
The primary goal of the certified recovery specialist is to get the survivor into an appropriate addiction treatment program while also looking to provide that person with other resources.
The specialists get certified with Treatment Trends Inc. — a nonprofit that receives funding from the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services that has been providing treatment services for people struggling with substance use disorders in the Lehigh County region for more than 45 years.
Since the launch of the program, the certified recovery specialists have helped more than 40 county residents with opioid use disorders — 13 have entered an addiction treatment program and about 10 received support from the specialists.