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New pilot program supports OD survivors

Monday, February 3, 2020 by Tai Moses

Travis County has among the highest rates of opioid-related deaths in the state. Now Texas Health and Human Services and Austin-Travis County Emergency Medical Services are teaming up to launch a pilot program offering long-term recovery services and support for survivors of opioid overdoses. Surviving an overdose isn’t the end of the story; addicts need a plan for ongoing treatment to help end the cycle of relapse and recovery in which so many are trapped. A press release from HHS about the pilot said, “EMS opioid response teams will connect people to medication-assisted treatment, prevention education and peer recovery support. As part of the pilot, EMS responders also follow up with patients in their homes to assist with accessing these resources.” Blake Hardy, Austin-Travis County EMS commander of the Community Health Paramedic Team, said, “EMS is uniquely situated to connect with and help people suffering from opioid use disorder, and support from the Texas Targeted Opioid Response will help increase the response capability of the Community Health Paramedic team and ensure the team has the resources necessary for continued success.” With the help of the new funding from the state, the community paramedic team aims to serve 300 people in the next year.


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