Coastal Horizons sees continued success, need for Overdose Quick Response Team

Updated: Nov. 8, 2019 at 5:09 PM EST
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - As southeastern North Carolina continues to struggle against the addiction epidemic, one of the measures created to fight on the front lines is seeing continued success — as well as continued need.

Coastal Horizons announced Thursday that in its first fiscal year that ended in June, The Cape Fear Opiate Overdose Quick Response Team met with a total of 148 individuals, with 122 of them deciding to seek treatment.

That’s a roughly 82 percent treatment engagement rate, which those in charge of the program are encouraged to see.

“It shows that we’ve got something special here with our team, with a quick response team, and that it’s been really effective to connect overdose survivors to treatment,” said response team supervisor Buffy Taylor.

And so far in this fiscal year, she said they’ve already seen an increase, with 66 contacts with individuals through October — the same amount they saw in six months the previous year.

Taylor said that mirrors the trends they are seeing with the addiction epidemic in general, where there are fewer overdose deaths and hospitalizations because of the prevalence of naloxone, but people are still overdosing and suffering from substance abuse disorders.

“It’s still just as prevalent,” Taylor said. “This hasn’t gone away and we want to let people know that it’s in our community, it has no socioeconomic boundaries, it could happen to anyone, they might need help, and we are here to help them.”

The Quick Response Team, which is a pilot program, has received another year of funding, and Taylor said they are thankful for the support from the local government.

“We get to have peer support, and clinicians, and that’s made our team different than other teams in the nation that are doing this, and I think that that’s actually helped us really be able to build rapport and spend time with people who do need treatment, versus other people who may not have the time that it takes to really walk alongside somebody to connect them to recovery.”

To contact the Quick Response Team, call (910) 833-2052.

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