PARKERSBURG, W.Va. — Officials in Wood County hope a quarter Million dollar grant from the state Department of Health and Human Resources will help cut into the region’s opioid problems. The one year stream of funding is aimed at putting together a Quick Response Team, similar to those now in place in Huntington and other locations, to follow up with overdose victims.
“It gives us funding to coordinate with law enforcement, emergency services and the hospitals to enable us to engage those who have overdosed,” said Kevin Trippett President and CEO of Westbrook Health Services of the grant. “We can encourage them to get into treatment, follow up with them, and educate their families to prevent future overdoses and get them on the road to recovery.”
Right now, Wood County is #8 among West Virginia counties for drug overdoses, but there are presently no Quick Response Teams in Wood County. According to Trippett, those QRT services have made a life saving difference in many communities.
“There’s about 21 Million individuals nationally dealing with substance abuse and about 10 percent seek treatment,” he explained. “With the Quick Response Team we’ve seen about 70 percent get into treatment once engaged by the team.”
The team consists of a drug treatment provider, a member of law enforcement, and an EMS worker. The team will follow up with an overdose victim 24 to 72 hours after they have overdosed. They’ll discuss treatment options and if the victim is open to those options will offer additional help and education to the addict as well as their family.
The grant will enable the assembly of teams and training for one year to get the program into place.