HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — Work by the Huntington Quick Response Team is being credited as one of a number of ways Cabell County is turning the tide on the addiction epidemic. The “QRT”, as it is called, is a team of concerned residents and medical professionals tied to Marshall University who track down the victim in every single overdose call in the county.

“We knock on the door, talk about who we are, and ask them if they are interested in getting help and getting into a treatment program,” said Bob Hansen, Director of Addiction Services for Marshall Health. “Really the response of people has been very positive.”

This week, health officials in Cabell County indicated a decline in overdose incidents by 36 percent for 2018 compared to the same time last year. The city and county have taken on a number of programs and policies aimed at fighting the epidemic of opioid addiction. The team each day works from noon to 8 p.m. Officials look back at the logs of the police and fire departments to get addresses and visit the victims.

“What our goal is if somebody says they want help or want to get help, they we’ll work on arranging and getting that person into some kind of recovery and treatment program,” said Hansen. “When we now knock on doors people say, ‘We’ve been expecting you.’ The word has spread.”

Hansen said the QRT so far has been able to locate and interact with about 60 percent of those who have survived an overdose.

“When we now knock on doors, people say, ‘We’ve been expecting you.'” Hansen explained. “Over time by word of mouth people know we’re out there. The word is spreading that we are out there, trying to meet people, and trying to offer them help.”

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