The QRT concept was introduced to Summit County by Greg McNeil, a Hudson resident and member of our Summit County Opiate Task Force. Greg tragically lost his son to an overdose in October, 2015. He has since formed an organization, Cover2 Resources, which researches and produces podcast interviews to educate families and communities on effective strategies to address the opiate epidemic. He learned about Colerain Township’s QRT and approached the ADM Board about helping to disseminate this program.
Colerain Township, Ohio is a community in Hamilton County. It’s population is similar to Cuyahoga Falls. In early 2015, they developed the Quick Response Team in response to the increase in opiate-related overdoses. The QRT is best described as an outreach team comprised of a medic, police officer and a counselor. The team provides outreach each week to individuals who overdose and are revived with Narcan. Central to the QRT outreach is an offering of a resource packet and support to assist the overdose victim into treatment. This resource information is also provided to the family. The counselor acts to identify and facilitate a warm hand-off to treatment when an available slot opens.
The team's goal is to help addicts so they don't overdose again. Their findings are encouraging. In the second half of 2015, they saw a 30 percent reduction in opioid-related overdoses. The departments also hand out information about addiction resources within Colerain's neighborhoods. This educational work has been credited for also helping to reduce overdoses. The QRT has had a positive impact on the attitude and satisfaction level of first responders who are part of the quick response team, partially due to the response of those they are reaching, but also from the broader community.
We are excited that many of our communities are embracing the Quick Response Team (QRT) program. The QRT team provides community outreach to those who have suffered an overdose. Teams consisting of a police officer, paramedic and a counselor offer resources for overdose victims and their families, with the goal to connect them to treatment. With teams now active in Cuyahoga Falls, Green, Barberton, Norton and Tallmadge, we now have 25% of our county covered. With the addition of Akron and Stow and several others, we will have over 75% coverage of Summit County by population, and will be reaching out to communities representing over 80% of overdoses in 2016.