EMS Leads the Country with Opioid Treatment
Emergency Medical Services (EMS) in Contra Costa County are Saving More Lives with Medication for Addiction Treatment
By: CA Bridge
This project maximizes the EMS response to provide treatment for opioid use disorder (OUD) and harm reduction measures to both prevent future overdoses and encourage long-term treatment. Having paramedics trained in evidence-based OUD treatment makes them a logical point of intervention and an integral part of a system-wide community of caregivers helping people with OUD.
4 Simple Steps for OUD Treatment
This project includes four pillars to support OUD care:
A patient who benefited from the project expressed gratitude to Tambra Divine, a Substance Use Navigator at Contra Costa Health Services, and the paramedic who treated him, "He knew what he was doing. He offered me suboxone [brand name for MAT]!! He really wanted to help me. I never saw this anywhere before. I really appreciate the call. It makes me think people really care." At the time of the call, he was driving to the pharmacy to pick up his prescription. As a Substance Use Navigator, Divine works with paramedics to follow up with patients who've been administered MAT to help them with prescriptions and linkage to continued treatment and support.
Funding began with the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) for the integration of opioid treatment through EMS. The CARESTAR Foundation has funded the project into implementation. This funding provides a proof of concept so that other EMS agencies and health systems roll out similar efforts. "Ultimately, this project has the potential not only to save lives in the community of Contra Costa County but to serve as a model for similar interventions across the state and nation," says Dr. Gene Hern, EMS Project Director of the CA Bridge program at the Public Health Institute. If these changes are integrated across systems of care, the project anticipates fewer overdoses after patient interactions with the EMS system, increased follow-up and retention in ongoing MAT treatment after patient interactions with EMS, and reduced racial disparities in overdose fatalities.
Find out more https://cabridge.org/
Page Updated Last on: Feb 18, 2021