PADUCAH, KY – Four Rivers Behavioral Health’s recovery community center, Turning Point, is partnering with area law enforcement for assistance with visits to recent overdose victims. As part of Turning Point’s overdose interventions, the center will soon be installing Naloxone Emergency Boxes throughout the region with law enforcement helping determine locations where people may be at a higher risk of overdose.
Naloxone Emergency Boxes are similar to a Fire Extinguisher or portable defibrillator in that they should be considered vital emergency equipment and be readily available. The boxes contain an emergency dose of NARCAN that can be administered to someone in an overdose situation. The box includes simple instructions and the life-saving drug can be administered by anyone. Turning Point will maintain the boxes and ensure NARCAN is replaced when depleted. Nearly one hundred boxes will be installed in the coming weeks.
Brandon Fitch, director of Turning Point Recovery Community Center said, “These boxes save lives! Time after time, in places all over the country, having NARCAN easily available has proven to be a life saver. Putting these boxes in public places is long overdue for our region.”
Installing Naloxone boxes is part of Turning Point’s overall mission of reducing overdose deaths in the region and encouraging treatment for substance use disorders by having their Quick Response Team visit overdose victims soon after the incident.
A vital component of the Quick Response Team is a partnership with local law enforcement. Several area law enforcement agencies are working with the Quick Response Team by accompanying them when they visit recent overdose victims.
Turning Point’s newest partner is the McCracken County Sheriff’s office. Chief Deputy Ryan Norman said, “First responders are trained to deal with overdoses, but ensuring there is a plan for aftercare and the encouragement of treatment is something we rarely have time to do. Working with Turning Point, we can be part of that follow up.”
It is difficult, especially for law enforcement, to convince a recent overdose victim to seek treatment. However, Turning Point’s Quick Response Team visits victims soon after the incident to check on their recovery and provide an immediate call to action. Because the QRT team includes peer supports with lived experience, they can make a personal connection to the victim and truly empathize with their unique circumstances.
In addition to peer supports, the QRT team is made up of mental health specialist, recovery coaches and addiction treatment professionals. The team works with first responders like law enforcement, EMTs and firefighters, to ensure that an overdose is the beginning of treatment and not the end of a life.
Turning Point’s QRT team has already seen early success with nearly a dozen visits made to overdose victims and several agreeing to enter substance use disorder treatment.